Community orientation of services for persons with a psychiatric disability. Comparison between Estonia, Hungary and the Netherlands

Authors Jean-Pierre Wilken, Zsolt Bugarszki, Karin Hanga, Dagmar Narusson, Koidu Saia, Marju Medar
Published in European Journal of Social Work
Publication date 21 July 2017
Research groups Participation, Care and Support
Type Article


This article explores the way mental health services and social services are orientated on assisting people with a psychiatric disability to participate in different areas of community life. A large research project about community participation in three different countries (Estonia, Hungary and the Netherlands) confirms the findings of other studies that – regardless of geographical location – people with a psychiatric disability have difficulty fulfilling social roles in the community. They are often faced with fewer opportunities than other citizens, due to their health problems, stigma, discrimination and poverty [World Health Organisation. (2011). World report on disability. Geneva: WHO]. An important objective of social work is to help people find their way in society. Surprisingly enough, in all three countries, most social workers are mainly focused on solving individual problems, and not on community participation. Shifting the focus starts by having a clear awareness of the notion of community participation. Social workers have to work both on supporting individuals to find their way in the community (individual support), and on supporting social networks in the community to accommodate persons with a disability on the basis of equal and valued citizenship (community support).


On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in European Journal of Social Work
Page range 1-12

Jean-Pierre Wilken

Jean Pierre Wilken | Professor | Participation, Care and Support

Jean-Pierre Wilken

  • Professor
  • Research group: Participation, Care and Support