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      What the Recovery Movement Tells Us About Prefigurative Politics


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          The concept of prefigurative politics has re-emerged following recent worldwide uprisings, such as the Occupy movement, to which this concept has been applied. In applying a contemporary analysis to prefigurative politics, we explore the contribution of community-based recovery groups to the recovery movement, a socio-political movement in the fields of mental health and addiction treatment. We argue that collective action in recovery groups is derived from the formation of an opinion-based social identity and results in alternative approaches to unmet needs, creatively addressing these identified needs through the utilisation of personal, social and collective resources within an emerging recovery community. To illustrate our argument, we provide examples of community-based recovery groups and the approaches they use in addressing the identified needs of their recovery community. We conclude with an analysis of what community-based recovery groups and the wider recovery movement can contribute to a contemporary understanding of prefigurative politics.

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              The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Seeking and Participating in Mental Health Care.

              Treatments have been developed and tested to successfully reduce the symptoms and disabilities of many mental illnesses. Unfortunately, people distressed by these illnesses often do not seek out services or choose to fully engage in them. One factor that impedes care seeking and undermines the service system is mental illness stigma. In this article, we review the complex elements of stigma in order to understand its impact on participating in care. We then summarize public policy considerations in seeking to tackle stigma in order to improve treatment engagement. Stigma is a complex construct that includes public, self, and structural components. It directly affects people with mental illness, as well as their support system, provider network, and community resources. The effects of stigma are moderated by knowledge of mental illness and cultural relevance. Understanding stigma is central to reducing its negative impact on care seeking and treatment engagement. Separate strategies have evolved for counteracting the effects of public, self, and structural stigma. Programs for mental health providers may be especially fruitful for promoting care engagement. Mental health literacy, cultural competence, and family engagement campaigns also mitigate stigma's adverse impact on care seeking. Policy change is essential to overcome the structural stigma that undermines government agendas meant to promote mental health care. Implications for expanding the research program on the connection between stigma and care seeking are discussed.

                Author and article information

                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                24 May 2016
                : 4
                : 1
                : 238-251
                [a ]Turning Point, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
                [b ]School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
                [c ]Department of Law and Criminology, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom
                [4]Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Turning Point, 54-62 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria 3065, Australia. melindab@ 123456turningpoint.org.au
                Copyright @ 2016

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 13 June 2015
                : 23 November 2015
                Special Thematic Section on "Rethinking Prefigurative Politics"

                addiction,mental health,recovery,collective action,social identity
                addiction, mental health, recovery, collective action, social identity


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