Heterotopias of mental health care: The role of space in experiences of distress, madness and mental health service use.

PhD Thesis


McGrath, L. 2012. Heterotopias of mental health care: The role of space in experiences of distress, madness and mental health service use. PhD Thesis London South Bank University Psychology
AuthorsMcGrath, L.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

The change from an institutional to community care model of mental health services can be seen as a fundamental spatial change in the lives of service users (Payne, 1999; Symonds & Kelly, 1998; Wolch & Philo, 2000). It has been argued that little attention has been paid to the experience of the specific sites of mental health care, due to a utopic (idealised and placeless) idea of ‘community’ present in ‘community care’ (Symonds, 1998). This project hence explored the role of space in service users’ experiences, both of mental health care, and community living. Seventeen ‘spatial interviews’ with service users, utilising participatory mapping techniques (Gould & White, 1974; Herlihy & Knapp, 2003; Pain & Francis, 2003), plus seven, already published first person narratives of distress (Hornstein, 2009), were analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Mental health service sites are argued to have been described as heterotopias (Foucault, 1986a) of a ‘control society’ (Deleuze, 1992), dominated by observation and the administration of risk (Rose, 1998a), which can in turn be seen to make visible (Hetherington, 2011) to service users a passive and stigmatised subject position (Scheff, 1974; 1999). Such visible positioning can be seen to ‘modulate’ (Deleuze, 1992) participants’ experiences in mainstream space. The management of space has hence been argued to be a central issue in the production and management of distress and madness in the community, both in terms of a differential experience of spaces as ‘concordant’ or ‘discordant’ with distress, and with movement through space being described as a key mediator of experiences of distress. It is argued that this consideration of space has profound implications for the ‘social inclusion’ agenda (Spandler, 2007; Wallcraft, 2001).

KeywordsMental Health; Space; Psychology
Year2012
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.4397
Publication dates
PrintJul 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Sep 2015
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85yx6

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