The Mental Health Crisis Is Down to Government Policy, Not Stigma

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From The Guardian: “I have a radical proposal for tackling the mental health crisis. Let’s just stop talking about stigma. I’m not suggesting stigma isn’t a problem. I’ve written about it myself. But all this talk of stigma has become a politically convenient red herring. […]

I don’t doubt that stigma does prevent some people from asking for help, but I’m not convinced that this is the overriding problem. What certainly does stop people getting help is a lack of available support. And, after all, if people are so reluctant to seek help, why are the waiting lists so long? Why is it that, according to a recent survey conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, some patients had waited up to 13 years to get access to appropriate treatment? […]

[…] ‘Ultimately, this is about changing the way we think about mental health.’ I agree. It’s about stopping seeing mental health as a discrete entity, and the mental health crisis as having nothing to do with government-imposed austerity: with the freeze on working-age benefits, with the housing crisis – rates of rough sleeping have more than doubled since 2010 – the slashing of council budgets, legal aid, Sure Start and education spending.

Let’s address that. Then we can talk about stigma.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “Conservative governments have failed people with mental health difficulties at every conceivable turn.” The left works on destroying the family unit then complains when people are alone sleeping in the street with no support and blames it ALL on the OTHER “team” LOL

    Please stop with the incredibly flawed liberal and conservative ideologies red team blue team bullshit and just talk about problem and solution.

  2. So many of us have said it so often. The stigma associated with marginalization is created and supported by the “mental health industrial complex,” (which includes associated entities and so-called “non-profit” social services). In fact, this field/culture promotes and causes marginalization in the first place. The stigma happens automatically, goes hand in hand with othering and marginalizing. All based on deceit, misrepresentation, mind games and gaslighting, and in general, an extreme lack of integrity–which is the antithesis of truth. That is crazy-making.

    What we call “mental illness” is often the end result of being othered by one’s primary group affiliation (e.g. family)–not always, but the family/community dynamic is a major player, given that othering does need a source from which to be projected initially, by definition–and that is repeated in the mh world perspective of what it means to be a human being, which is extremely limited at best, and overall terribly misguided. I believe that, by now, this is obvious. Eventually, this is internalized, and that becomes a profound internal split and struggle which can make one swing from despondence to rage, due to feelings of utter powerlessness.

    Once othering and marginalizing cease to be, then this will come into perspective and we can beging to heal as a society. But how to stop divisiveness is a head-scratcher. Perhaps to not play the game, on either team, would be a step in the right direction–maybe even a quantum leap.

  3. “the black sheep”,
    “scapegoat”,
    “designated patient”
    etc., etc.,
    Just 3 of the many words used to describe the family roles of almost all so-called “mental patients”.
    These are all types of so-called “stigma”. The “government” will never go away, and neither will “stigma”.
    Government and stigma are both tools used by the rich ruling elites to attain and maintain their
    MONEY, POWER and CONTROL. There is NO “mental health crisis”.
    So-called “mental patients” are more correctly seen as victims of social and governmental oppression.
    People don’t “sleep rough” because of lack of money, – they do it because of a lack of housing.
    So-called “mental illness” is not caused by “mental illnesses”, – it’s caused by a lack of knowledge, understanding, and compassion.
    The “Guardian” would rather spend the next few decades publishing stories like this, than to tell the TRUTH:
    Psychiatry is a pseudoscience, a drugs racket, and a means of social control. It’s 21st Century Phrenology, with potent neuro-toxins. Psychiatry has done, and continues to do, far more harm than good.
    Remember, so-called “stigma” was NOT DISCOVERED. It was *INVENTED*…..
    Think about that truth….

    • Roles are assigned to children without their conscious awareness of how this occurs, but adults can choose to not play that role and dis-identify from a toxic system. That is transformational healing. Be the example of change rather than to continue playing the role of “victim,” and others will eventually follow suit. That is true groundbreaking and systems-busting courage.

    • From Jeff Brown, from his upcoming book “Grounded Spirituality”:

      “It’s been my experience that the one that families call the ‘crazy one’ is often the sane one. This is particularly true in very dysfunctional families where ideas of healthy functioning are turned upside down. In these families, members often repress their authentic expression and turn against anyone who reminds them of their unresolved issues and patterns. As a result, the truth-speakers, the ones who refuse to contain their feelings, those who challenge the toxic status quo, are often scapegoated and vilified, made to feel crazy by those who lack the courage and insight to see beyond the family’s madness. If you have been labeled the ‘crazy one’, take heart. You are truly not alone. Most great creators and paradigm-shifters were met with fiery resistance by those afraid to grow. Whatever you do, do not allow your voice to be drowned out in the face of their judgments. Your voice, your vision, your ways of being, live at the heart of your unique soul’s journey and are the key to collective transformation. No one has the right to bury them under a bushel of shame. No one! And remember- what is crazy to an unconscious person is often brilliantly sane to one who is awakening. Without people like you, the world is lost. Blessed be the ‘crazy’ ones’!”