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Improving social outcomes of mental distress survivors of domestic violence: using the capability approach

Jharna Pathak () and Mitali Upadhyay
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Jharna Pathak: Gujarat Institute of Development Research and Secretary, Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG)
Mitali Upadhyay: Central University

Journal of Social and Economic Development, 2021, vol. 23, issue 1, No 13, 212-227

Abstract: Abstract Domestic violence is one of the leading factors that drive its survivors towards severe mental health problems even leading to suicides in some cases. Several national and international organisations working on social outcomes for mentally ill survivors have noted that poor outcomes are due to factors like patriarchal attitudes, abysmal health infrastructure and poor quality of treatments. This paper is a study of the social outcomes achieved by survivors of domestic violence suffering from mental distress by using five concepts of the capability approach. Select survivors of the mental health support programme implemented by the Government of Gujarat and supported by voluntary organisations are interviewed that give insights into the ways in which the social outcomes of survivors could be improved by using the capabilities approach rather than that using the one based on established dominant norms. The findings have implications for health professionals and mental health systems as a whole in that they ought to pay attention to the agency and capabilities of survivors to help them first achieve a minimum threshold of well-being and strive for more valued social outcomes.

Keywords: Domestic violence; Mental distress; Counselling; Capability approach; Agency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B54 D60 I1 J12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40847-020-00139-5

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