2.8 C
London, UK
Wednesday, 29, January, 2020

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.

Gaslighting: Should we Label the Victims as Psychotic or Abused?

It took me a long time to realise that I was being gaslighted. In fact, I had no word to describe the experience until years after I had finally escaped, when I came across the term by chance. What is worse, whenever I talk about my past relationship now with friends in my new life, I am horrified to discover how common manipulative relationships are.

Are Our Regulatory Bodies Prioritising Drug Company Interests Over Public Safety?

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is refusing to respond to the concerns of psychiatrists, parliamentarians, patients and other experts about the impending licensing of the street drug ketamine as a treatment for depression.

It’s Time to Change the Way We Make Sense of Human Misery

What follows is a doctor-patient interaction that I hope will become more commonplace across psychiatric outpatient clinics.

Exploring Identity Through Art

In this ‘identity’ project, we ran a series of workshops exploring different aspects of identity through sculpture, collage, and graphic novel. At the end of each workshop, we gave each group participant the option of sharing their piece with the group and describing both the meaning of the piece and their experience of the creative process.

Psychological Support for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

We discuss the release of guidance which has been specifically written to support UK psychological therapists and their clients in having discussions about taking and withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. The guidance is a collaboration between psychologists, peer support specialists and psychiatrists and aims to provide important context and evidence-based support to psychological therapists.

Prescribing Rights for UK Psychologists – Should We Be Cautious?

We urge the BPS to consider the implications of proposals to grant psychologists prescribing rights. Specifically, we note that uncritical use of diagnostic language and assumptions in the field of mental health begs crucial questions about the nature of distress, while potentially contributing to the overuse and misuse of psychiatric drugs. We are also concerned about further restricting the right of service users to be offered a choice of understandings and approaches, especially in the field of mental health.

Expert Reaction to Proposed ‘Speedball’ Antidepressant Therapy

Naysayers will no doubt be out in force, spreading unnecessary pessimism, about the risk of dependence from use of these agents – however, just because ‘speedballs’ originated in the underground drug scene does not mean that there is not significant therapeutic value to be found in novel combinations of medications.

Finding My Tribe: A Survivor’s Story

I remember the time when, six years ago, after almost two decades of treatment under mental health services, my life didn’t seem worth living and I believed that it was only a matter of time before I would finally succeed in taking my own life.

Peter Kinderman – Why We Need a Revolution in Mental Health Care

An interview with Professor Peter Kinderman about his new book, A Manifesto for Mental Health, Why We Need a Revolution in Mental Health Care, in which he proposes a rejection of invalid diagnostic labels, practical help rather than medication, and a recognition that distress is usually an understandable human response to life's challenges.

IIPDW Network Meeting Brings Together Professional and Lived-Experience Expertise

Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is an issue which is rapidly gaining attention in many parts of the world, yet professional medical circles can sometimes be remote from the discussion. The International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (IIPDW) was created in 2017 to respond to the need to widen the debate and to develop ways to assist people withdrawing safely from psychiatric drugs.

Upcoming Events

How can the Power Threat Meaning Framework be applied to experiences perceived to be transcendent/ transformative, or spiritual, and how could it be used to support this? – 17 January 2020

A Disorder 4 Everyone, Cornwall – 13 February 2020

A Mad World - Is Modern Life Bad for Your Mental Health?

A video discussion recorded at the Institute of Art and Ideas’ annual philosophy and music festival HowTheLightGetsIn.

Speakers are author of Madness Explained, Richard Bentall, clinical psychologist Lucy Johnstone, and consultant for Public Health Wales and Swansea Professor of Medicine Ann John.

View the discussion here.

Drop the Disorder! Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis

Published on 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. Order from PCCS books 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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