Taking Action on Stigma and Discrimination: An Intersectionality-Informed Model of Social Inclusion and Exclusion

Gemma Hunting, Daniel Grace, Olena Hankivsky


Social inclusion has increasingly been positioned within research and policy as integral to addressing stigma and discrimination related to mental health and substance use. Yet there is a lack of consensus about the meaning of social inclusion and how this concept can be applied to understand the broader social contexts that influence health and inequity. In this paper, we respond to a recently developed model of social inclusion for mental health and substance use in British Columbia (BC), Canada, by proposing an alternative model: an Intersectionality-Informed Model of Social Inclusion and Exclusion. Drawing on the BC model, we demonstrate what we see as key limitations of current conceptualizations of social inclusion and highlight the ways in which the proposed model extends, improves, and complicates understandings of social inclusion. We argue that this inquiry is a necessary precursor to better addressing the complexities of stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion, and in so doing, to promoting social inclusion and equity.


social inclusion, social exclusion, intersectionality, mental health, substance use

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