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Residential mobility, mental health and welfare reform

Residential mobility, mental health and welfare reform
Residential mobility, mental health and welfare reform
This thesis qualitatively examines the interplay between service users’ residential
mobility and mental health and assesses the ways in which each is influenced or
determined by the other. Twenty-five service users in England were over a period
of eighteen months interviewed in depth about their experiences of both residential mobility and mental health. These interviews were conducted against the backdrop of the on-going austerity-driven reforms to the welfare state that have witnessed the rapid promulgation of policies designed to spur service user entry into the formal labour market, via the use of restrictions on continued eligibility for particular sickness, disability, and housing benefits, and reductions in their monetary value.

Evidence from the interviews is used to test two of the primary models through which the residential mobility patterns of service users have been
explained: displacement from unstable lodgings resulting in circulation through
disparate residential settings; and entrapment in low quality accommodation in
predominately deprived areas. The thesis finds evidence of both scenarios, and
reports on the negative health experiences encountered therein. It demonstrates
that the extent to which residential circumstances have a negative impact on
mental health rests upon whether service users feel unable to exercise any control
over their residential choices. The exercise of which is being further compromised
by a hastily reformed system for determining on-going eligibility to welfare benefits and a wider retrenchment of the services and facilities around which users have often orientated their lives. Here, invasive and ineffectual medical assessments destabilise service users and threaten a reduction in income, enforced changes in accommodation, and the rupture of their carefully calibrated wellness strategies which, in the absence of wider service provision, are increasingly emplaced in and around users’ own homes. The findings raise considerable questions about the operation of the welfare system and its impact for service users’ health and residential stability.
University of Southampton
Lowe, James
b98357fd-b878-4401-8570-6f9059898219
Lowe, James
b98357fd-b878-4401-8570-6f9059898219
Moon, Graham
68cffc4d-72c1-41e9-b1fa-1570c5f3a0b4
Deverteuil, Geoffrey
22636102-b1c3-47fc-936a-f370dd6d5856

Lowe, James (2017) Residential mobility, mental health and welfare reform. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 271pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis qualitatively examines the interplay between service users’ residential
mobility and mental health and assesses the ways in which each is influenced or
determined by the other. Twenty-five service users in England were over a period
of eighteen months interviewed in depth about their experiences of both residential mobility and mental health. These interviews were conducted against the backdrop of the on-going austerity-driven reforms to the welfare state that have witnessed the rapid promulgation of policies designed to spur service user entry into the formal labour market, via the use of restrictions on continued eligibility for particular sickness, disability, and housing benefits, and reductions in their monetary value.

Evidence from the interviews is used to test two of the primary models through which the residential mobility patterns of service users have been
explained: displacement from unstable lodgings resulting in circulation through
disparate residential settings; and entrapment in low quality accommodation in
predominately deprived areas. The thesis finds evidence of both scenarios, and
reports on the negative health experiences encountered therein. It demonstrates
that the extent to which residential circumstances have a negative impact on
mental health rests upon whether service users feel unable to exercise any control
over their residential choices. The exercise of which is being further compromised
by a hastily reformed system for determining on-going eligibility to welfare benefits and a wider retrenchment of the services and facilities around which users have often orientated their lives. Here, invasive and ineffectual medical assessments destabilise service users and threaten a reduction in income, enforced changes in accommodation, and the rupture of their carefully calibrated wellness strategies which, in the absence of wider service provision, are increasingly emplaced in and around users’ own homes. The findings raise considerable questions about the operation of the welfare system and its impact for service users’ health and residential stability.

Text
James Lowe Final Thesis - Version of Record
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More information

Published date: 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411299
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411299
PURE UUID: 4ee3bf4f-7fba-44af-aa33-d8515e05639d
ORCID for Graham Moon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7256-8397

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jun 2017 16:32
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 06:07

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Contributors

Author: James Lowe
Thesis advisor: Graham Moon ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Geoffrey Deverteuil

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