Our Mad highlights of 2022

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A round-up of 2022 highlights from Mad in the UK and the wider critical field:

The campaign for an independent review of ECT goes from strength to strength, with several articles in the national media, and growing awareness of the issue in Parliament thanks to the support of 25 MPs and the shadow minister for mental health, Dr Rosena Allin Khan, who has asked two questions in the house about how ECT is regulated.

Coverage of the issue was reported widely:

Electro-shock therapy was meant to cure me. Now I can’t recognise my family in The Times

Thousands of women given ‘dangerous’ electric shocks as mental health treatment in England in The Independent

and on BBC Hereford and Worcestershire local radio

Members of the campaign group continued to publish in peer-reviewed journals, including: Depression: why drugs and electricity are not the answer.

The campaign members are liaising closely with Freeths law firm, which is preparing a class action; with the newly-appointed Patient Safety Commissioner, Dr Henrietta Hughes; and with several documentary makers.

The 2022 AD4E festival, organised by Jo Watson, the inspiring line-up included Gabor Mate, Johann Hari, Lucy Johnstone, James Davies, John Read, Joanna Moncrieff and Robert Whitaker, and activists Jacqui Dillon, Matt Ball, Indigo Daya, and James Moore, along with newer voices and contributors. For the first time there was a panel on the impact of climate change, in which the presenters were joined by former Green Party chair Natalie Bennett. The day ended with a tribute to the much-missed Pete Sanders, founder of PCCS Books and lifelong opponent of the medicalisation of counselling and psychotherapy. The event was viewed by several thousand people from 18 countries.

The Power Threat Meaning Framework continues to grow in influence. This year, invited presentations were given in person by authors/PTMF committee members in Copenhagen, Norway, Lithuania, the Yukon NW Canada, and at the  American Psychological Association. Online conferences, training and podcasts were delivered across the UK and to Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Greece, Australia, and the USA. The Power Threat Meaning Framework is available in Spanish and is also being translated into Norwegian, Japanese, Swedish and Danish, with the Italian translation of ‘A Straight Talking Introduction to the PTMF’ now available. We take this as a sign that there is growing recognition, nationally and internationally, of the need for fundamental change in our model of care.

In 2022 we finally started to see the media portraying distress as political, not personal, including this New Statesman long-read featuring the PTMF.

The MITUK collective welcomed new members this year, and is now an active group of six, both professionals, survivors, and those who identify as both. We are now achieving the third-highest number of views after MIA and Mad in Brasil, and are proud to be part of a mutually supportive collective of that now has 11 affiliates globally, including new affiliates Mad in Ireland.