"Doing" social inclusion with ELSiTO: Empowering learning for social inclusion through occupation

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Kantartzis, Sarah ; Ammeraal, M ; Breedveld, S ; Mattijs, L ; Geert, ; Leonardos, ; Yiannis, ; Stefanos, ; Georgia, (2012)
  • Publisher: IOS Press

Objectives: The European partnership ELSiTO aimed to develop understanding of the nature and processes of social inclusion for persons experiencing mental illness. Participants: Partners were from Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands with over 30 members including mental health service users, occupational therapists and other staff. \ud \ud Approach: A knowledge-creation learning process was used during four international, experiential, visits and local meetings, which included visiting and describing good practice, telling stories of experiences, reflection and discussion. \ud \ud Results: The partnership developed understandings of the nature and process of social inclusion, including both subjective and objective aspects interrelated with the doing of daily activities in the community. Members' work-related experiences, illustrated through their stories, depict the subjective aspects of social inclusion as they are shaped and framed by the objective conditions within a variety of work opportunities. Experiences in paid work, supported employment and voluntary work may both threaten and enhance mental health. Features of successful (voluntary) work experiences are identified. \ud \ud Conclusions: The importance is revealed of looking critically at current understandings of work and to move beyond a narrow focus on paid work in order to provide a range of work opportunities that will empower the individual's potential and promote inclusive
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