The Global ‘Mental Health’ Movement – Cause For Concern


This week, MIA Radio is delighted to present the first in a series of interviews on the topic of the global “mental health” movement.” This series is being developed through a UMASS Boston initiative supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundation. The interviews are being led by UMASS PhD students who also comprise the Mad in America research news team.

Justin Karter writes:

In this episode, we interview Dr. Melissa Raven, who is a psychiatric epidemiologist, policy analyst and postdoctoral research fellow in the Critical and Ethical Mental Health research group at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Originally qualified as a clinical psychologist, she then worked as a lecturer and researcher in public health and primary health care. Her current mental health research and advocacy is informed by a strong social determinants perspective and a strong critical orientation, which she applies to a range of topics, including suicide prevention, workplace mental health, (over)diagnosis, (inappropriate) prescribing, and conflicts of interest in mental health and the broader health/welfare arena.

On October 10th, 2018, World Mental Health Day, The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development published a report outlining a proposal to “scale up” mental health care globally. At the same time, the UK government is hosting a Global Mental Health Ministerial Summit with the intention of laying out a course of action to implement these mental health policies globally.

In response, a coalition of mental health activists and service-users have organized an open letter detailing their concerns with the summit and report. The response has attracted the support of critical professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, and researchers.



    “..SMI referes to all individuals that have received a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder…”

    I discovered my name on the Severe Mental Illness Register at London W2 5LT in 2012 :- 28 years after I had recovered. When I complained I was targeted.

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      • littleturtle,

        Basically – once a person ‘has a Diagnosis’ – ‘getting better’ is not recognised. The person is considered Severely Mentally Ill for life, regardless.

        The UK Severe Mental Illness Register can be acessed by any Health Professional so a person can be identified at a press of a button.

        My experience is that ‘medical treatment’ becomes worse not better with this identification, and when a person complains doctors ‘close ranks’.

        It’s a bit like the Star of David.

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  2. What is the premise behind “mental illness” labels? “Mental health”, of course. If “mental illness” is only a metaphor, a figure of speech, so is “mental health”.

    I’m gratified to see demonstrations erupting all over the UK. They should be erupting all over the rest of the world as well. The Global “Mental Health” Movement is a actually global medicalization movement, and, as such, it needs to be opposed.

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    • The “premise” or theory or idea behind mental illness as something real is “lost productivity”, as your pal Oldhead so eloquently stated somewhere below. Mental health is the antithesis. It’s productivity. The reality of lost productivity, or liability, is not a metaphor in this sense. The label, in and of itself, is. I don’t see how comparing a label of something real to something real that’s not attributed to a label in any way sensible.

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  3. If you understand credit default swaps and collateralised debt obligations you understand that destruction is now monetized. This is what drove the last financial melt down. It is still happening. All those ‘mentally ill’ just out of jail convicts being given mortgages they could never afford…. tripping people into debt for a default mega payday is still on the cards. I’ve no idea if I’m on the The UK Severe Mental Illness Register but given what happened to me over three years, very much suspect so, yet my background doesn’t stop banks trying to flog me credit cards and other methods to tempt me into debt.

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  4. Mental health policies globally… “Global” My gosh ! Whats next “universal” the whole universe ? All of space and time , including planets, stars, galaxies ?

    So anyway is it that the New World Order is going to be like the opposition to mental “disorder” putting all the disordered people into what ever the proper order is they decide on ?

    Who are “they” ? T-H-E-Y

    The Hierarchy Enslaving You.

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  5. Its Eugenics
    Although psychiatric disorders are classified as non-communicable diseases, we believe this classification is too rigid and limiting. We present evidence of the communicability of psychiatric disorders through three major pathways:
    infectious and ecological
    sociocultural communicability

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