Fostering Community Integration: The role of supported education

Recently, an alternative paradigm to community mental health has been developed upon the values of citizenship, empowerment and community integration (Nelson, Kloos & Ornelas, 2014). This workshop will draw upon those perspectives to describe the frameworks underlying community integration, and how they could inform transformative change in mental health policies, programs and practices. A community integration oriented system should be committed to expand the opportunities for people with mental health problems to access to community resources and activities (e.g. education), to valued social roles, and to relationships that foster a sense of community belonging. Research on evidence based practice and examples for enhancing community integration will be presented. Implications and challenges for supported education programs will be discussed with participants.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the conceptual framework of community integration
  • To identify community integration strategies and outcomes
  • To consider ways of promoting community integration through supported education

José Ornelas is an Associate Professor with Aggregation at the ISPA- Instituto Universitário, in Lisboa, Portugal. At ISPA-IU, he is the Director of Community Development course and Community Psychology Masters and Doctoral programs. His first doctoral degree was at Boston University in Psychology, and the second doctoral degree was at the University of Oporto in Portugal. Over the last 30 years he has developed research and practice in the field of community psychology, particularly in the domains of community mental health and community integration. He was the first president of the European Association of Community Psychology and was a member of two national commissions, one to reform the mental health system and the other for higher education on new psychology curricula. Recently, he has released a book, written with several of his international colleagues, entitled “Community psychology and community mental health: Towards transformative change”, published by Oxford University Press.