Critical Psychiatry Network 2017 Conference Report

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From Critical Psychiatry: The Critical Psychiatry Network’s 2017 conference raised a variety of issues and featured a range of differing perspectives pertaining to the societal need to transform our approach to mental health problems.

“…Three top quality speakers, big names in the Recovery field, gave inspiring and provocative talks. Dave Harper argued that the Recovery concept is another way of blaming the individual, and diverting efforts from the sort of social changes that would really bring about better mental health for all. Geoff Shepherd looked at the history of mental health care, which reminds us that the dominant medical orientation of services is to some extent an accident of history. If we can throw off current assumptions, we can start to imagine how mental health services could be provided quite differently, prioritising decent and secure housing and employment, for example. Mike Slade reminded us of the radical potential of the Recovery concept with its focus on quality of life and personal goals rather than symptoms and pathology. He talked of mental health field being at a point of transition, with numerous forces, including the Critical Psychiatry Network and the survivor movement, chipping away at the dominant paradigm.”

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