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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 8/7/2014

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Moving Towards Social Inclusion
Date: Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (Eastern Time)

To access the archived presentation please select one or several of the options below.

Please download the accompanying presentation slide to follow along with the teleconference audio recording.

Training Summary

“Mental health and well-being are fundamental to quality of life, enabling people to experience life as meaningful and to be creative and active citizens. 1” What happens when an individual does not have an opportunity or is denied access to the tools needed to be full citizens in society? In essence, the individual is socially excluded from the community in which they live. Social inclusion is not just about having access though.  It is about participation in the community, as employees, students, volunteers, teachers, careers, parents, advisors, residents; as active citizens.2

For individuals with mental health problems, this exclusion can be experienced in all aspects of life?social, economic, educational, spiritual, recreational/cultural, and health. As a result, people with mental health problems have extremely high rates of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, early mortality, poor health, inadequate education and social isolation. It is also known that these inequities are key social determinants of ill mental and physical health.3 Efforts must focus on the development of a socially inclusive framework where an environment is created in which all individuals within a community have access to equal opportunities. A social inclusion framework can also be an important community-based prevention approach for reducing the prevalence of mental and physical health problems. It can also enable various community organizations to come together and to erase boundaries to better address the holistic needs of people and communities.

Throughout Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand, public policy efforts have commenced to address the social inclusion of people with mental health problems. This past April, SAMHSA convened a summit meeting of mental health leaders to begin examining the application of this approach in the U.S. With greater access to social opportunities, people with mental health problems can recover and rebuild their lives.


1 Mental Health Action Plan for Europe: Facing Challenges, Building Solutions. (January 2005). WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health.  Last accessed May 15, 2009,,-building-solutions  .

2 Vision and Progress: Social Inclusion and Mental Health. (2009) National Social Inclusion Programme. Last accessed May 15, 2009,  .

3 Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts 2nd edition. (2003). World Health Organization. Last accessed July 15, 2009,  .


Ken S. Thompson, M.D.
Medical Director
SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services

Kenneth S. Thompson, M.D. Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, is the Medial Director of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at SAMHSA. In his role as medical advisor to A. Kathryn Power, Director of CMHS, Dr. Thompson provides comprehensive medical leadership in the diverse integrated planning, design, and implementation actions that relate to the CMHS programs and objectives. In addition to providing medical consultation and assistance to CMHS programs, he monitors the application of relevant American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association professional standards to CMHS policies and programs.

A native of Pittsburgh, Dr. Thompson has worked for the past 15 years as a community psychiatrist in a wide variety of settings, including a primary care clinic, and HIV clinic, a State hospital, several disaster response teams, a homeless outreach team, and a community mental health center. He held an assortment of administrative, clinical, and teaching positions within these settings. Most recently he has worked with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Pennsylvania, providing psychiatric consultation to the Harrisburg State hospital closure process.

Lynn C. Todman, Ph.D.
Adler Institute on Social Exclusion

Lynn C. Todman, Ph.D. is the director of the Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE) at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Dr. Todman earned a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Master's in City Planning (M.C.P) and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Todman's areas of interest include urban poverty, social exclusion, and community development. She is especially interested in the ways in which social, political, and economic structures systematically marginalize urban populations. Her work is multidisciplinary, drawing on fields such as economics, political science, sociology, public health, and systems' dynamics. She has lived and worked in Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and, most recently, in Italy where she worked with urban sociologists investigating the impact of urban transport policy on social welfare and the role of community participation in urban development processes. Dr. Todman is a member of the Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Social Sciences at MIT and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for International Studies at MIT. She is also a member of the American Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association, and the American Planning Association. 

Peggy Swarbrick, Ph.D.
CSP-NJ Institute for Wellness and Recovery

Margaret (Peggy) Swarbrick, Ph.D., O.T.R., C.P.R.P. is CSP-NJ Institute for Wellness and Recovery Training Director, and  a part time assistant professor in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation  and Counseling Professions Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Health Related Professions. Peggy’s early personal challenges and experiences in the mental health system led to a career focused on promoting wellness within the mental health system.  Peggy worked for many years as an occupational therapist. She worked in a variety of settings and she attempted to promote whole person wellness, recovery and health promotion services. She completed doctoral work at New York University. Peggy continues to publish  and lecture on the wellness and recovery, self sufficiency models and peer ( consumer ) delivered wellness and recovery programs as key to systems transformation.  Peggy devotes tireless energy to mobilize the consumer-survivor movement and system to address poverty and health disparities impacting peers. She developed and is the co-author of a monthly newsletter, Words of Wellness. 


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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.