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Knowledge, Experiences, and Struggles for Full Citizenship in Psychiatry and Mental Health – until April 29, 2024

Editors: Tiago Pires Marques, Sílvia Portugal

Deadline for submissions: April 29, 2024

Keywords: activism; human rights; mental health; psychiatry; therapies.

Citizenship and human rights for those living with psychiatric diagnoses constitute one of the last frontiers in the struggles for civil rights. To this day, most social and human sciences studies focusing on psychiatry, acknowledging global trends in mental health, have concentrated on psychiatric reforms, institutions, disease classifications, and the expansion of psychopharmaceuticals. This focus neglects the political, ethical, and civic dimensions that shape experiences and knowledge about psychic suffering and illness. Conversely, human rights narratives have largely overlooked the rights of individuals with psychiatric diagnoses. Nevertheless, throughout the 20th century we have witnessed the emergence of movements aiming to advocate for the full citizenship of these populations, from the anti‑psychiatric currents of the 1960s‑1970s to associations, networks, and alternatives led by (former) users and survivors of psychiatry. These movements have given rise to new alternative – or complementary – therapeutic experiences to biomedical psychiatry. The study of the therapeutic trajectories of users or individuals seeking emotional and mental balance has also demonstrated the importance of alternative and/or complementary approaches to biomedicine, particularly in the scope of spiritualities.

The articles to be included in this thematic issue should analyze therapeutic experiences or experiences with therapeutic effects in their specific contexts, problematizing ontological, ethical‑political, and epistemic dimensions. How can a broad recognition of the therapeutic validity of alternative experiences to the biomedical model contribute to an emancipatory vision of psychiatry and mental health? This is the central question of this thematic issue, which welcomes unpublished empirical texts or more theoretical-methodological contributions capable of contributing to the construction of new imaginaries for institutions, practices, and rights in psychiatry and mental health. It is also intended to be a space for dialogue between academic knowledge and experiential knowledge (especially from individuals living with psychiatric diagnoses). Ultimately, it aims to intersect global and local perspectives, with a focus on counter-hegemonic epistemologies from Brazil and from global activism, particularly by giving visibility to narratives of therapeutic experiences alternative to the biomedical model and to the struggles for dignity and human rights, especially the activists’ role in the emancipatory transformation of mental health.

The organization of this issue is supported by the project PSYGLOCAL, which is developed at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra.

e-cadernos CES is a peer-reviewed, online and entirely open access journal, published by the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (Portugal). It is currently indexed in CAPES, DOAJ, EBSCO, ERIH Plus and Latindex. For more information on the publication consult:

All texts should be original and submitted in their complete version, in Portuguese, English, Spanish, or French. They must not exceed 60,000 characters (with spaces), including footnotes and bibliographical references. For the final section, @cetera, other texts may be presented (up to 35,000 characters maximum), such as interviews and debates (up to 25,000 characters maximum), or unpublished book reviews (up to 5,000 characters maximum). The submitted manuscripts must not have been otherwise published in full or in part (in both print or digital format), in the same language or another, nor be presently under submission to another publication.

Detailed guidelines for submitting texts are available at Manuscripts should be sent by email to and authors should clearly identify the thematic issue in question – “Full Citizenship in Psychiatry and Mental Health”.

All manuscripts will be subject to the double-blind peer review process.

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