How Shall We Promote Citizenship and Social Participation?

  • Michael Rowe
  • Allison N. Ponce


Citizenship is a framework for understanding and enhancing the strength of a person’s connection to the rights, responsibilities, roles, resources, and relationships that society offers to its members, as well as a sense of belonging that is validated by fellow citizens. We define citizenship, examine its historical roots, and discuss how we identified it as a central concept for extending social participation. We then report on approaches we have pursued to support citizenship and community engagement for individuals with mental illness and other marginalized identities, and the evidence to support these approaches. We also discuss issues related to advocacy by and for people with mental illnesses, including the use of legal remedies for housing, voting, and other tools available to support their full and participating citizenship. We conclude by discussing future directions for the development of the citizenship framework as a means of promoting the social inclusion, participation, and valued membership in the society of people with mental illness.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Rowe
    • 1
  • Allison N. Ponce
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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