The Global Call for Users Involvement in Mental Health Policy and the Local (in) Visibility of Users Organisation: Results from a Social Systems Based, Qualitative Case Study from Chile.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:15
Location: Hörsaal 6B P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Cristian MONTENEGRO, Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, United Kingdom
The recent WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013 – 2020 explicitly calls for the involvement of mental health services users’ in all the levels of policy making, including “advocacy, policy, planning, legislation, service provision, monitoring, research and evaluation” (2013, p. 10). Under the WHO’s governance scheme, the main responsible to assess the existence and level of involvement of users organizations continues to be the State’s and its mental health system. Given the interdependencies across global and local policy actors in the production of forms of identification of the agency of users, and the limitations of traditional assessment mechanisms given the complexity of users’ participatory processes, this paper tries to understand how national mental health systems, under the guidance of global calls and assessment mechanisms, define and identify the collective actions of users, how this identification has emerged and stabilized over time and through which kinds of verification procedures – based upon formal assessment tools or not - an image of users’ is constructed within the mental health system (Luhmann, 2012). The results come from empirical qualitative research conducted in Chile during 2015, in the context of a PhD project mapping the global and local production of the idea of user involvement in mental health policy, guided by Niklas Luhmann’s version of Social Systems Theory.