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London, UK
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Fundamentally re-thinking UK mental health practice
and promoting positive change

BLOGS

Essays from a diverse selection of writers, which aim to change the professional and public discourse about emotional distress and unusual experiences.

The War on Antidepressants: Why We Need to End it for Public Benefit

In the interest of the patients who are currently experiencing withdrawal reactions and the many more who will suffer withdrawal effects in the future, we need to end this “war”. Academic psychiatry must address these problems and conduct thorough research on withdrawal reactions.

Towards Resilience and Possibilities and Away from Diseases and Symptoms

An interview with Professor Jim van Os who says that, arguably, ‘love is the most powerful evidence-based treatment in mental health’. We discuss his recent paper published in World Psychiatry which envisions a future for mental health that moves away from symptoms and diagnoses and towards peer support and lived experience.

Living Under Section – Coercion, Powerlessness and Aggravated Distress

Having one’s rights and freedoms removed is inherently degrading, no matter how nicely or correctly the procedures for enforcing and managing those removals are implemented. When one’s ability to act autonomously and in personally meaningful ways is significantly undermined for an extended period of time, it is soul destroying, and for me, it certainly contributed to my escalating mental distress.

Conscientious Objection to Coercive Treatment: An Opportunity for Mental Health Professionals to Oppose the Human Rights Violations Inherent to the Mental Health Act

We urgently require action that will grab media attention, jolt us out of our collective apathy and act as a catalyst for us all to question why we collude with legalised discrimination against those unfortunate people tagged with a ‘mental disorder’. Psychiatric nurses conscientiously objecting to forced psychiatric treatment would potentially achieve these aims.

Antidepressant Dependence Discussed at the Seat of Welsh Government – Video

In parts of Wales in the UK, one in six adults takes antidepressants and support for anyone struggling with dependence or withdrawal issues is patchy and inconsistent. To help draw attention to these issues, an awareness day was arranged for the Welsh Government and here we provide video of the presentations made at the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales.

Who am I? The Identity, Morality and Silence of Mental Health Staff

I felt compelled to write this account of my experiences as a mental health nurse. All identifying details have been changed. However, this is a true account of the conversations I had and the people I met. I believe it needs to be heard. It’s been three years since I completed my training to be a mental health nurse. During the course, my time working on hospital wards and within community teams shocked and disturbed me profoundly.

An Alternative Review Of The Mental Health Act

The English National Hearing Voices Network (HVN England) is publishing an alternative report, today, to coincide with the launch of the government's report on its Review of the Mental Health Act.

MIA: SUPPORT GROUPS FOR PARENTS

Beginning Feb. 5 and Feb.14, Mad in the Family will begin hosting monthly, moderated online support groups for parents skeptical of, or seeking alternatives to, conventional drug-based treatments for their children with mental health challenges. Two groups are offered—one in Europe and the other in the United States/Canada. Each is limited to 15 participants. Learn more, and sign up here.

OTHER RESOURCES

A list of groups and resources that you may find helpful. If you are aware of other resources that we should consider adding, please let us know by email: [email protected]. Thanks.

Mad in America – Mad in America’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad).

The Power Threat Meaning Framework – Towards the identification of patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to functional psychiatric diagnosis.

Drop the Disorder (Facebook) –  a group for anyone who is interested in challenging traditional approaches to emotional distress.

A Disorder 4 Everyone – Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis – creating change. Provides events, blogs and other resources.

A free-to-use guide to the healing of psychological trauma is available. It comprises information, approaches to healing and resources together with links to selected clinicians, organisations, projects and support groups. Download the pdf here: Healing Psychological Trauma

Hearing Voices Network – If you hear voices, HVN can help – we are committed to helping people who hear voices. We offer information, support and understanding to people who hear voices and those who support them.

International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (UK) – ISPS UK is the United Kingdom network of the International organisation ISPS – International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. ISPS works to promote greater knowledge of the different psychological approaches to psychosis and psychotic experiences – psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, arts-based, family and holistic approaches – and their better integration with each other and with pharmaceutical approaches.

The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry – CEP exists to communicate evidence of the potentially harmful effects of psychiatric drugs to the people and institutions in the UK that can make a difference.

The Inner Compass Initiative and Withdrawal Project – provides information, resources, tools, and connecting platforms to facilitate more informed choices regarding all things “mental health”.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence will address the growing problem of prescribed drug dependence by demanding appropriate services for those affected, proper training for medical professionals, reduced prescribing through adherence to new and existing guidelines, better data regarding the prevalence of PDD and more research into long-term harms associated with PDD.

More resources are listed here.

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