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  • Living reference work
  • © 2020

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Offers a unique, critically-oriented overview of mental health and illness

  • Represents established and current debates in the context of a continuing critical perspectives movement in psychiatry and mental health

  • Brings together a wide range of concepts across psychology, psychiatry, sociology, education and medicine

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Table of contents (63 entries)

  1. Adolescent Development

    • Katie Johnston-Goodstar
  2. Aesthetic Practices and Youth

    • Vivek Vellanki, Lauren Elizabeth Reine Johnson
  3. Andean Decoloniality and Mental Health

    • marcela polanco, Tisha X
  4. Child Development

    • Lisa Farley, Hannah Dyer
  5. Creating a New Performance of Dementia

    • Lois Holzman, Mary Fridley, Susan Massad
  6. Critical Perspectives of Addiction

    • Pavel Nepustil, Susan Swim
  7. Disability

    • M. Nickie Coomer, Margaret R. Beneke, Carlyn Mueller
  8. Disruptive Behaviors: A Capabilities Approach

    • Joaquin Gaete, Alfredo Gaete
  9. Educated Self

    • Ann-Marie McLellan
  10. Experience Near Definitions of Madness

    • Rory Randall, Hamilton Kennedy
  11. Food Inequality

    • Kate Cairns

About this book

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health assembles a global cast of experts to present critical perspectives on the broad, interdisciplinary field of mental health. Engaging with critical and constructionist conceptions of mental health, it offers a contemporary assessment of mental health as a field, and of prevailing approaches to mental health ‘disorders’ and illnesses. The authors present a comprehensive assessment of mental health today while applying the core hypothesis that the very conception of mental health is made possible in and through language use.

Including nine sections traversing the landscape of mental health in critically informed ways, this book brings together a wide range of concepts across psychology, psychiatry, sociology, education and medicine. In a context of a rapidly growing critical perspectives movement in psychiatry and mental health, this book offers a unique and timely resource for anyone interested in critically oriented theories of mental health.


  • mental health disorder
  • psychiatry
  • critical psychology
  • the language of mental health
  • normalcy
  • critical theory
  • mental health constructs
  • neurodevelopmental constructions
  • stigma of mental health
  • aetiology

Editors and Affiliations

  • Counseling & Educational Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

    Jessica Nina Lester

  • The Greenwood Institute, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom

    Michelle O'Reilly

About the editors

Jessica Nina Lester is Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington. Dr. Lester has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous books and book chapters focused on discourse and conversation analysis, disability studies, and more general concerns related to qualitative research.

Michelle O’Reilly is Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. Michelle’s research interests are in the areas of child mental health, sociology of health and illness, family therapy and qualitative methods; and she has published many papers and books in this area.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health

  • Editors: Jessica Nina Lester, Michelle O'Reilly

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and Psychology, Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences, Reference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-12852-4Due: 12 February 2024

  • Topics: Critical Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Clinical Psychology, Critical Theory, Psychiatry