Equity and inclusion: people, power and politics – the potential of citizenship to transform mental health



The aim of the Special Issue is to bring together a series of papers that shed light on the relationship between citizenship and mental health. We know that taking a citizenship-focused approach to mental health allows us to consider the lived experiences of mental health in the broader social context. By shifting the focus from an illness based, deficit focused approach to mental health we can begin to understand the strengths that those with mental illness have and the contributions that people make to their local communities. A citizenship focused approach to mental health practice allows us to strengthen connections and relationships between individuals and communities helping to foster a sense of belonging, hope and recovery.

This special issue will bring together a series of papers, from different international, multi-disciplinary perspectives (psychology, psychiatry, social work, sociology, political science) to consider the aspects of citizenship that can promote a sense of belonging for those with lived experience of mental illness as well as exploring the barriers that particular groups face. This special issue is particularly interested in intersectionality and the impact that different aspects of an individual’s identity (gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability) might have on one’s sense of citizenship. The issue will also explore the extent to which the human right to citizenship, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), is achievable or attainable for different groups of people.

By bringing together papers from multiple disciplines and countries the special issue aims to shed new light on an area that has traditionally been dominated by clinical or illness based models. The papers in the special issue will show case theoretical and methodological innovation. The special issue will bring together a series of papers where lived experience and peer research have been central components of the work, highlighting different forms of knowledge and challenging previous epistemic injustices.

There is ongoing interest internationally in citizenship informed research and practice. This work takes as its starting point the aspects of citizenship that are important for those who have been excluded or experienced “life disruptions” including mental health problems to become full, valued and participating members of their local communities. These can be encapsulated as the “5Rs of citizenship” – rights, responsibilities, resources, roles and relationships to foster a sense of belonging. This fits well with International treaties and law including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as country specific law and policy, such as a Fairer Scotland for Disabled People in the UK. A search of existing mental health literature highlights a continued focus on clinical symptomology, diagnosis, treatment and intervention. This special issue therefore presents a timely opportunity to address an important gap that fits well with current policy direction and lived experience.


List of topic areas 

  • Citizenship, identity and intersectionality
  • Citizenship and recovery
  • Lived experience and peer research 
  • Citizenship outcomes and measurement
  • Barriers to citizenship and inclusion
  • Narratives of citizenship and lived experience 


Guest Editors

Gillian MacIntyre

University of Strathclyde, UK

[email protected]


Chyrell Bellamy

Yale School of Medicine , USA

[email protected]


Graziela Reis

Yale School of Medicine, USA  

[email protected]


Helen Paris Hamer

Yale School of Medicine (honorary), USA

[email protected] 


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:   https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jpmh

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:   https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/jpmh#author-guidelines

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/06/2022
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 15/09/2022    
Closing date for abstract submission: 31/07/2022    
Abstracts should be submitted for review to: [email protected] and [email protected]