‘Complexity’ by Jonathan Keyes

PdxJonThis powerful blog is one of the best I have read in some time. Jonathan recognises the challenges we face in trying to improve the mental health system. Essential reading!

‘The movement to radically reform the modern mental health system is rooted in a desire to offer people going through emotional distress a wider variety of options for care.  As a society we have largely shifted to a model of care that is limited to a select few options that primarily advocates the use of strong psychotropic drugs and simplistic diagnostic labels for complex and widely varying narratives. 

Recently I read that from 1998 to 2011 there has been a 400 percent rise in the prescription of antidepressants.  Likewise in Canada, at least 60 percent of female prison inmates are prescribed psychiatric drugs.   

Most people receive psychiatric medication from their general practitioner.  The stigma of going on an antidepressant has been lessened to such a degree that one out of nine people in the US now takes this class of drug.

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Swift and Certain Punishment: Gearing the criminal justice system to change behaviour

‘Policy Exchange is delighted to host Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, for a lecture and discussion about how policymakers can better gear the criminal justice system to change behaviour and substantially cut reoffending.

Professor Humphreys, formerly senior drugs policy advisor to President Obama, is a prominent advocate of a new generation of community supervision systems in the United States that are dramatically cutting substance misuse, crime and imprisonment.

These programmes are based on a simple idea: punishment that is swift and certain but not severe will control the vast bulk of offending behaviour. These programmes, such as South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Scheme, combine much greater offender accountability and monitoring with a system of quick, consistent and modest sanctions.

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