Mental health professionals must be trained in the dynamics of addiction and abuse if they are to help survivors of childhood trauma.
Coupled with a burgeoning new movement (AA) for temperance members to refer to, the movement changed from a public policy interest group to what we would now call a treatment-based outreach organization.
Again and again after an incident like this occurs, the media bombard the public with calls to bring about greater awareness of "mental illness" and the importance of "treatment" that is generally described in a narrow way. There is little discussion about why the person may have been suffering in the first place.
From Massive: The public generally conceptualizes alcoholism as a biological brain disease and rejects the notion that social and cultural factors may contribute to addiction....
We are told a story about illness, and that story serves a mindset that underlies the darkness that we feel all around us and within us. The mindset is that we are flesh robots, floating on a dead rock, in the middle of nowhere. But we are in the midst of a paradigm shift.
Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?