Jump to content
Will be fiddling with the site. If you encounter problems, please DM or send email to admin@ziboom.com. Thanks! ×
Sign in to follow this  
Morrigan

Should well meaning mental health campaigns stop?

Recommended Posts

I read an interesting article in The Times today - from someone who has relatives with schizophrenia, and he thinks that the current rash of mental health awareness campaigns should end. I am reproducing a little of it as the paper has a pay wall up. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/why-well-meaning-mental-health-awareness-campaigns-should-stop-8hxn9mjgc

One of his main points is:

 

"it has become a common claim that “people with mental illness can and do recover”. This is simply not the case with schizophrenia, which is almost always a lifelong condition. Very few people recover entirely. Then there is the common claim that “people with mental illness are not violent and unpredictable”. As the US psychiatrist E Fuller Torrey has written: “To be precise, mentally ill individuals who are taking medication to control the symptoms of their illness are not more dangerous. But on any given day approximately half of severely mentally ill individuals are not taking medication. The evidence is clear that a portion of these individuals are significantly more dangerous.”

 

At its very worst, this conflation of any kind of psychological distress veers into glamourising mental illness. It has become a cliché for celebrities to confess to mental vulnerability and I am not the only person riled by this hashtag tendency. After seeing a tweet asking “what if depressed people are actually just the ones who see the world for what it really is?”, the TV journalist Damon Green complained online this week: “Making a fetish of mental illness is one of the worst aspects of this platform.” Meanwhile, Hannah Jane Parkinson recently wrote movingly in The Guardian about her experience of being sectioned and suffering from bipolar disorder, complaining that she was tired of mental health campaigns “dominated by positivity and the memeification of a battle won” and being particularly irritated by the frequent comparison between mental illness and a broken leg"

 

Speaking as someone who has suffered mental illness myself, I certainly agree with the "memeification" (is that a word lol?) of a battle won. Invariably you read some politician or celeb's account of their mental illness and it is always in the past, done and dusted, no further bother, thanks. Whereas anyone suffering from mental illness knows that it has a tendency to recur.

However in general I think it does more good than harm to speak up and reduce the stigma of living with mental illness. What is your view?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I think mental health campaigns should continue. They do a lot to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness and also encourage some people who may be experiencing the effects of MH to reach out and seek professional al help.

The more we all know about MH, the better we can try to understand how it is, what we can do to help a partner, child, neighbour or workmate.

 

i understand the writer Hannah Jane Parkinson being annoyed at some terminology used when describing MH, because I have heard the same comments when people who have had cancer are referred to as having fought a battle ..and won or lost. I don't feel this is a bad description because to many of the people tackling a serious health issue, it does feel like a battle between yourself and this entity.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No I think mental health campaigns should continue. They do a lot to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness and also encourage some people who may be experiencing the effects of MH to reach out and seek professional al help.

The more we all know about MH, the better we can try to understand how it is, what we can do to help a partner, child, neighbour or workmate.

 

i understand the writer Hannah Jane Parkinson being annoyed at some terminology used when describing MH, because I have heard the same comments when people who have had cancer are referred to as having fought a battle ..and won or lost. I don't feel this is a bad description because to many of the people tackling a serious health issue, it does feel like a battle between yourself and this entity.

I agree with you that the issues addressed in my OP should not prevent further mental health awareness work going on - I particularly applaud that done by the young royal princes William and Harry.

I personally very much dislike the "battle" terminology whether applied to MH or to physical health issues. I think with regard to the latter, it can make people feel guilty or somehow responsible for not "winning the battle" as if there approach to it has somehow failed. This, I think is most unhelpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the campaign should definitely continue, especially since it helps others to seek the help that they need. I've watched many friends go through this, and it appears that the younger ones have an easier time sticking to their regiments because there is less stigma involved. For older ones, I feel that they've become a lot less tolerant of people, especially since our generation has seen depression as a matter of "not having a nice day" rather than an actual illness.

 

I do agree that it is necessary to point out how many of these ailments are lifelong. This helps the sufferer as well as the general public.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a sight at the Civic Center BART station a couple of weeks ago that I haven't repeated to anyone because it was so sad and horrific. I'll keep it simple...a group of young (and I suspect drunk) men & women were taunting a mentally ill, homeless man in a wheelchair after he committed a gross act at the station. They followed him to the escalator, yelling and screaming at him. The BART police finally came and told them to stop, but the damage was done.

 

The people standing in front of me waiting for the train didn't understand what was ''wrong'' with the guy in the wheelchair. I told them in plain language that the guy is mentally ill and should be in a shelter or hospital, and those idiots yelling at him weren't helping. They agreed that the people yelling weren't helping but clearly didn't understand that the man is mentally ill. This is how the United States of America, the supposed greatest nation in the world, treats its mentally ill. Just writing this is making me sad again.

 

That being said, mental awareness campaigns MUST continue. It's a huge stigma and widely misunderstood. There must be more education and understanding about this.

 

Speaking of which, I've been meaning to text my therapist to talk about this incident and see what I can do to help. I'm going to do it now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service