Blog open to all young people and those trying to help and support them through psychological issues, mental health problems and crisis points in their lives. Provides expert knowledge, information and advice from informed practice, research and publication.
Monday, 10 June 2013
MODERN MENTAL HEALTH
MODERN MENTAL HEALTH
The publication of DSM V, the latest
version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, used by Psychiatrists to
order, collate and regiment human suffering into neat linear classifications in
the same year as this book is as ironic as fortuitous. Like its cousin the
ISDM, it has metamorphosed over the years- always expanding to discover,
register and rationalise the creation of yet more diagnoses and classifications
of the human condition. The individual contributors to this book share a
passion for needs-informed, person-centred care for those people affected by
mental ill- health and a deep scepticism about the way help and support is quantified,
organised and provided to the 1 in 4 people in the population who at some time
will suffer mental health problems.
The chapters include a diverse and
rich mixture of stark personal testimony, reflective narrative,case studies in user-informed care,
alternative models of intervention and support, rigorous empirical research and
a forensic analysis of mental health law-making. Although the overarching
philosophy of this book is critical of contemporary psychiatric care, each
chapter offers an individual perspective on an aspect of provision. And
critical need not mean negative. We take the concept of critical to
mean…subjecting to an interrogation from a different point of view than the
prevailing orthodoxy.. in the manner of the Classical writer Socrates.
So this book will move away from that
position of resigned helplessness in the face of Government and Psychiatric
professional orthodoxy. Our inspiration is that of predecessors who have
challenged the prevailing ethos and assumptions dictating mental health policy
and practice such as Sontag, Ssaz, Lacan, Laing, and Foucault to name only a
few. Anthony Clare, who as a Psychiatrist was better placed than most to
reflect on his profession and the prevailing complacency in Psychiatry in the
mid 1970's voiced criticism from within the establishment in his seminal work:
Psychiatry in Dissent. The Feminist writers such as Segal, Friedan, Orbach,
Greer; and other radical voices have been supplemented by authors such as
Fernando, Bhugra, Young, Hall,whose
thoughtful work on Racism in Psychiatry proved so unsettling to many
practitioners resting on their laurels after the flurry of anti-racist and
anti-discriminatory policies in the latter part of the 20th Century.
NHS managers in England were accused in the Summer of 2012
of "shocking discrimination" in commissioning mental health services.
The Mental Health Policy Group from the London School of Economics said
three-quarters of people with depression or anxiety got no treatment. The group
said the NHS was guilty of injustice in its treatment of people with mental
illness. The committee of senior academics and medical professionals described
this as a "real scandal". The committee headed by economist Professor
Lord Richard Layard included some of the country's most eminent mental health
experts. Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said mental health should be
treated as seriously as physical health issues.
The group's report found that among those aged under 65,
nearly half of all ill-health was mental illness. It said the NHS in England
was guilty of injustice in its treatment of people with mental illness. Six
million people had depression or anxiety conditions and yet three-quarters got
no treatment. This was often because NHS managers failed to commission properly
the mental health services recommended in official guidance, the experts added.
They said £400m earmarked by the government for psychological therapy was not
always used for its intended purpose because there was no obligation on
managers to do so. The committee concluded that mental health services should
be expanded, but if anything they were being cut. Of particular concern was the
news that child and adolescent mental health service provision was being cut.
Untreated young people with mental health problems are the adults with mental
health problems of the future, so this short-sighted saving will produce much
more cost in the future.
The book is a new addition to a corpus of existing
literature that refuses to accept the status quo in Psychiatry and is prepared
to ask difficult questions. It will appeal to the hungry, inquisitive mind of
Junior Doctors, newly-qualified Psychiatrists, Nurses, Social Workers and all
of those in a variety of educational and training contexts where they hope to
qualify and acquire a professional status that allows them to intervene in the
lives of the most vulnerable people in the population. It is dedicated to Thomas
Stephen Szasz, (1920-2012).
Steven Walker, Editor: Modern Mental Health- critical perspectives
on psychiatric practice. Critical Publishing, St.Albans. ISBN: