Workstream VIII - Discrimination and epistemic injustice in mental health services
People with mental illness are subject to structural discrimination. This can affect mental health care in different ways.
Epistemic discrimination occurs when people are specifically harmed in their ability to produce and share knowledge, for example, when their testimonies are systematically given less credibility or when they are excluded from processes of knowledge production due to structural constraints. Such cases can also be described in terms of epistemic injustice. In this project area, we will address on a conceptual level the mechanisms by which people with mental illness are epistemically discriminated against and the implications this has for mental health care and research.
In addition, people may have experiences of discrimination in mental health care settings. Experiences of discrimination depend on which other social categories (e.g. gender, class, race/ethnicity, sexuality) are assigned to a person, i.e. whether they are subject to multiple discrimination. Black feminist theorists have developed the theory of intersectionality to analyse complex systems and experiences of discrimination.
In this project area, we cooperate with the project "INTERSECT -Heteronormativism, Racism, Classism, Ableism and Serious Mental Illness. An intersectional analysis of unequal treatment and discrimination in mental health care", which is being carried out at the LWL Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Preventive Medicine at the Ruhr University Bochum. The aim of the project is to use the concept of intersectionality for ethical considerations in mental health care and to gather the lived experience of discrimination within mental health care within an intersectional framework. Further information can be found at https://psychiatrie.lwl-uk-bochum.de/forschung-und-lehre/forschung/forschungsbereiche/ethik-in-der-psychiatrie.