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London, UK
Friday, 19, July, 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.

“My Voice; My Choice” – A Movie Premiere and the Launch of a Campaign

Every year, around 46,000 people in England are subject to compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act. Black people are around four times more likely to be ‘Sectioned’ than White people. Let’s take steps to change the law here in the UK, protecting the rights of people within the mental health care system to exercise informed consent and preserve their autonomy.

55 Steps: A Battle Cry Against Forced ‘Treatment’ For us All

In almost any other situation, pinning people down and injecting them would be cause for investigations and criminal charges. The perpetrators would be seen as aggressors. Those who fought back would be seen as courageous. Those who accepted their fate would be understood. We would draw a line.

On Human Nature and Its Implications for the Mind-Body Problem

Peter Hacker's magnum opus explores what it means to be human via an analysis of the language we use. Through disclosing the conceptual framework within which we think, act and come to know things, our deep and implicit understanding of ourselves and our world is revealed.

Two Years Tapering an Antidepressant – A Life-Changing Experience That I Didn’t Want

My heart goes out to anyone experiencing withdrawal but especially those surrounded by unsupportive judgemental people, and those who are so ill they can’t work and are struggling to navigate a heartless and cynical ‘benefits’ system. Denial and minimisation make it even more difficult for people to access help, support or seek understanding. Their only crime is to have experienced difficulty from a prescribed treatment, yet they are treated as medical pariahs.

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.

Drop the Disorder! Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis

Due to be published September 3rd, this book takes the themes, energy and passions of the AD4E events – bringing together many of the event speakers with others who have stories to tell and messages to share in the struggle to challenge diagnosis. An essential book for those wanting to look beyond the labels.

Pre order from PCCS books here.
Launch event details here.

DOCUMENTARY INPUT NEEDED

Love Productions, an independent television production company, is producing a current affairs programme for a UK television channel about young people’s mental health and treatment including use of antidepressants.

They are looking to hear from young people, under the age of 30, that experience depression and/or anxiety and may be or have been on antidepressants.

They are also interested in speaking with parents of children (under the age of 18) who are currently:

  • Experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety.
  • May have seen, or about to see, the GP and or a specialist/ counsellor.
  • May have been or are on antidepressants.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences with them – in confidence – and possibly being interviewed for the programme, please contact them by emailing [email protected]

Please note that Love Productions will process your data in accordance with UK data protection laws and its Privacy Notice, a copy of which is at www.loveproductions.co.uk

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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