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.
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.
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.
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.
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.