Our system fails because it colludes with social structures that themselves generate harmful ways of being in the world. The sector at best sedates these states while at the same time exonerates harmful social arrangements by over-emphasising the so-called internal and disordered causes of structural distress.
The World Health Organisation newly published guidance for community mental health urges an end to forced treatment and the adoption of person-centred and rights-based services.
“My experience of psychiatry is, you’re not treated as an individual. You are asked a battery of pre-prepared questions and they try and control your life. Keeping talking about it helps me,” said Chris. I said, “I just wonder what would make you feel heard so you could enjoy life more.”
The report concludes that institutional practices are insufficient to guarantee the safety of patients who undergo electroconvulsive therapy.
The steering group shared a basic philosophy: a holistic, psychosocial approach to mental health, drawing on social constructionist and feminist ideas, on work highlighting the links between trauma and mental health, and on the service user/survivor movement.