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London, UK
Tuesday, 21, May, 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.

Challenging a Diagnosis

Psychiatric diagnoses have far-reaching consequences for every area of your life: welfare, employment, health and travel insurance, physical and mental health assessment/treatment, adoption rights, and social stigma, to name but a few. Yet they are just subjective opinions with no scientific basis and can change over time.

The Mental Wealth Crisis

We live in a society where academia is our measurement of good parenting.  Teaching good relationships to encourage our children to develop empathy and manage their emotional regularity is rarely considered.  Parents assume that children ‘glean’ this information and don’t identify our society’s individualism and consumerism as the main culprits in causing our ‘mental wealth crisis’.

Crossing cultures with the Power Threat Meaning Framework – Australia

The workshop was a very powerful experience as we were faced with the immense pain of the stories of indigenous Australians, compounded by psychiatric imperialism. We were also reminded once again that like the Māori and Pacific Islanders, First Nation Australians have an awareness of community, spirituality, identity and connection to the natural world that has been disastrously eroded in Westernised countries, with profound impacts on all aspects of our wellbeing.

Crossing Cultures with the Power Threat Meaning Framework – New Zealand

I have no doubt that New Zealand’s major Government inquiry into mental health will result in some real improvements, but it seems likely to fall short of a fundamental challenge to the diagnostic approach. Nevertheless, if the Power Threat Meaning Framework can help a move in that direction, I and the other authors will be delighted. In the meantime, I will always value the lifelong connection that has now been forged with the marae at Manawanui.

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.

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.

WHO SURVEY: QUALITY RIGHTS E-CONSULTATION

The WHO QualityRights initiative is working to improve access to quality mental health services globally and to promote the human rights of people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, and cognitive disabilities.  As part of this initiative we are developing a good practice guidance document which will present information on community-based mental health services that promote human rights and the recovery approach.

By completing the questionnaire in the link at the bottom of this email, you will have the opportunity to submit up to five mental health services that you believe should be considered as a good practice.  By participating, you can contribute to shaping the future of mental health services.

Anybody who is involved in providing a service, has experience of using a service, or knows of a service is welcome to complete the questionnaire.

You can access the consultation survey:

For responses IN ENGLISH: Here

For responses IN SPANISH: Here

For responses IN FRENCH: Here

For responses IN PORTUGUESE: 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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