‘Stigma and Service Integration’ by Bill White

Stigma and Service Integration ImageIn his latest blog, Bill White emphasises the importance of Recovery Stories and their value in tackling stigma.

‘One of the emerging trends of U.S. health care reform is the tri-directional integration of addiction treatment, mental health services, and primary health care.  This is evident in the growing integration of addiction and psychiatric treatment under the rubric of “behavioral health care,” efforts to integrate primary health care within addiction treatment settings, and increased delivery of addiction-related services within primary health care settings, e.g., physician offices, health clinics, and hospitals.

Considerable resources have been invested in creating policy frameworks for such integration (e.g., provisions for office-based treatment of opioid dependence) and developing technological innovations (e.g., screening, assessment, and treatment protocol) to facilitate such integration, but history would suggest a far greater obstacle to service integration:  social and professional stigma.

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‘People with psych labels suffer discrimination: mental health professionals are often guilty of such prejudice’ by Monica Cassani

Epiphany - 2014-03-23_240560_sense-of-place.jpgExcellent posting from one of my favourite blogs.

‘People with psychiatric labels suffer discrimination that is not only demeaning but can also be dangerous.

A 2007 UK study by the Royal College of Psychiatrists revealed that prejudicial treatment of mentally ill patients extends to physical medical care; they receive poorer quality of care and doctors spend less time with them possibly leading to higher rates of death and preventable disease.

Though tragic, the more scandalous aspect of the phenomena is the fact that mental health professionals apply the same prejudices to those whom they attempt to treat. The worst thing someone in mental distress can experience is dehumanizing treatment from other human beings who are supposed to be caring for them.

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‘Hope and Recovery: Part 2’ by Pat Deegan

rsz_beautiful-bhutan-pictures-91‘Recently I was asked to give some brief comments for a German publication.  I was asked: “Given that hope is an is an important aspect of recovery, how can professionals give hope. Have you experienced someone giving you hope? Do you remember a special situation?”  I replied:

“Professionals can’t give hope. But they can be hopeful. They can root their work in hope. Hope is different than optimism.

Optimism is shallow and trite. Optimism is false hope. Workers who are optimistic are like cheerleaders at a football match. They say shallow, unhelpful things like, “I just know you can recover. Everything will be all right. Tomorrow will be a better day.”

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‘Hope and Recovery: Part 1’ by Pat Deegan

lighthouse_01‘Hope is important to recovery because hopelessness and biological life are incompatible (Seligman). When faced with adversity, human beings need hope in order to overcome. Mental health professionals can contribute to hopefulness for recovery or they can convey hopeless messages which are toxic and soul killing.

When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 17, my psychiatrist told me that I had a disease called schizophrenia and that I would be sick for the rest of my life. He told me that I would have to take high dose haloperidol for the rest of my life. He said, I should retire from life and avoid stress.

I have come to call my psychiatrist’s pronouncement a “prognosis of doom”. He was condemning me to a life of handicaptivity wherein I was expected to take high dose neuroleptics, avoid stress, retire from life and I was not even 18 years old!

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‘Global Health Futures’ by Cormac Russell

UnknownOver the next few days I am privileged to be attending the Global Health Futures Conference hosted by the College of Medicine, UK and Soukya Foundation. We are in Bangalore, India, and I can think of no better place to speak about Health beyond sickness and allopathic approaches.

This morning’s conference opening was refreshing, The Prince of Wales who is currently in India addressed delegates via video link, and his message chimed with that of others: Health is not a commodity, it is co-produced and must have the person and their community at the centre with medical systems in service and in reserve. The Prince of Wales cited Hazel Stuteley’s work in England and called for more approaches of this kind.

Brian Fisher and Hazel Stuteley addressed the conference in the afternoon with a passionate invitation to all in attendance to work to ensure that asset based community development is known and practiced globally on the basis that it offers a global opportunity for health improvement.

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‘Felling the Forest’ by Rebecca Daddow

get-low-blog-imageHere’s an interesting blog from Rebecca Daddow of Nurture Development.

‘This past weekend, I watched the film Get Low – it was recommended to me by Cormac following a conversation about Community Builders (can you spot who the Community Builder is in the film?). It is a film filled with wonderful acknowledgements of the gifts we possess and find naturally around us. In many ways, it speaks to some of the core values of ABCD.

One of the scenes that resonated most with me sees the main character, Felix, walking through the forest that grows on his land with an old friend, Mattie, who he has reconnected with after 40 years of self-imposed isolation:

Mattie: “It really is beautiful out here. It probably looked like this everywhere 100 years ago.”

Felix: “If you leave things alone, they know what to do”

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