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.
Wherever you find mental health services to have expanded, you find a parallel increase in the numbers who have been classed as disabled due to a mental health disorder.
The concepts we use have undermined our natural resilience, sensitised us to an idea of our vulnerability, and encouraged us to transfer our agency to practitioners who use a system as if it has scientific validity and is clinically useful.
Professor Sir Robin Murray recently noted that ‘sadly, a few psychologists appear to have been stranded in a Jurassic world where they spend their energies railing against a type of psychiatry which became extinct years ago.’ If true, this would obviously pose a problem for those critics of psychiatry.