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London, UK
Saturday, 06, June, 2020

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

Wilful Blindness

For those who have experienced harm the abuse starts by not being believed by GPs and psychiatrists when in withdrawal.  To then have abuse levelled at them on social media seems to confirm that psychiatry is not interested in learning from its mistakes, only about its preservation.

Therapy From Home During the COVID Crisis

I recounted how sitting alone at home whilst holding my phone and watching her face suddenly freeze or turn into a mass of pixels, did not feel a very therapeutic or safe space for me. As that familiar feeling of despair began to seep back in, I hoped that we could somehow come up with a way to meet face to face again.

BLOGS

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

Bringing Human Rights to Mental Health Care: An Interview with UN Envoy Dainius Pūras

MIA's Ana Florence interviews United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras about his own journey as a psychiatrist and the future of rights-based approaches to mental health.

‘What’s the Matter With Tony Slattery?’

For me, this documentary raised so many issues beyond Tony’s individual story.  I was deeply touched by his honesty and I sincerely hope he is now getting the trauma-informed support he has needed since he was a desperate, terrified 8-year-old boy more than half a century ago. But it also raises wider concerns.

Values Matter in the Digital Space as in Everyday Life

Values matter as much in the digital space as in everyday life. Despite the recent update by the Royal College of Psychiatrists of its professional values, it is disappointing that an opportunity has been missed to hold to account its own members for their behaviour on social media platforms.

Understanding our Feelings in the Time of COVID

Like everyone else, I am trying to understand my response to a virus that threatens my life and the lives of the people I love. But it also happens that for nearly 30 years I have worked as a clinical psychologist with people facing cancer, and I am noticing some parallels between what my patients have told me and what people seem to be talking about now.

Unconventional Views About Mental Health

Every year thousands of medical students go through and we explain to them the risks associated with certain drugs. Why is it now when I am saying that maybe my colleagues are underestimating those risks, I’ve been pulled up with complaints?

Appropriate Responses to a Pandemic: How are Your Seven Emotional Systems?

Our safety systems have been alerted to differing levels since January 2020 when the coronavirus epidemic came to light. The appropriateness of this fear response needs to be highlighted, in part because it will protect us, and in part because we must normalise this response rather than viewing it as a ‘disorder’.

We Are All in This Together

We need a new narrative of shared distress to replace the failed one of individual disorders. We need human connection and mutual support. We can learn to manage our feelings in a way that helps us through the crisis and gives us the energy to make much-needed social and environmental changes afterwards. The usual dividing lines melt away in the face of global emergency. We really are all in this together.

COVID 19 Resources – We’re all in This Together

A collection of non-medical, non-pathologising resources to help us all survive the crisis. A list of blogs, videos, articles and helpful resources related to the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it’s Healthy to be Afraid in a Crisis

Writing in The Guardian, clinical psychologist Dr. Lucy Johnstone says it is wrong to view our natural fears as mental health disorders. "The more we label our understandable human reactions as disorders, the greater the temptation to disconnect them from their source and focus on new individual “treatments” instead."

MIA Urgent Conversation

Join Kermit Cole and John Read for a panel discussion of mental health diagnosis and treatment in response to trauma in the COVID era. Fear and Grief Are Not Mental Illness (And Never Were).

COVID-19 Resources

Non-medical, non-pathologising resources to help us all survive the COVID-19 crisis – updated regularly

GP WITHDRAWAL SURVEY - PLEASE SHARE

John Read, professor of clinical psychology at the University of East London, talks about why he is launching a GP survey on antidepressant withdrawal.

Read more here. Share the survey 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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