Mental Health

29 Nov

Institute of Mental Health 8, Nov 06

After reading two articles in The Times newspaper I was bewildered by the overall aims of the NHS (National Health Service) mental health provision.  The first article titled ‘Mentally ill  are being denied help in crisis’, which basically stated that those in a mental health crisis were either denied or given an appalling service.  An investigation by Mind (mental health charity) and University College London revealed  many services in England do not meet the staffing guidelines; people  are not getting the help required; delayed assessments; some crisis units are not providing a 24 hour, seven day service a week; people cannot contact crisis teams directly but must be referred.

The other article in the same issue titled ‘Its less about stigma than the lack of science’ states how a new Mental Health Bill will be implemented by the Commons via Gavin Barwell, MP, the 19th century definitions of depression and schizophrenia need to be revised in order to remove all kinds of discrimination and stigma.  Also recognising the misdiagnosis of service users and its detrimental affects on their  lives.

Apparently, due to the lack of research into mental illness a relevant science has not been applied.  Genetics, brain imaging and sophisticated psychological and social research are the remedy for such a situation.  Lord Stevenson of Coddenham is founding chairman of the new mental health research foundation based in London.

I question the validity of this reasearch since statistics only serve the purpose of shaping a persons thinking, money is being placed into research but not existing services that desperately require funding.  The numbers of people approaching mental health services are increasing, there is no mention of  social changes apart from removing stigma. Eliminating stigmatization and further research is going to resolve the current dilemma. We exist in a climate where care services are being integrated into the community rather than institutionalised settings – cheaper alternative .  It just does not make any sense!

It is not rocket science to know that mental health is largely dependent on social factors and obviously some are heredity. What further research is required!  Possibly, a step forward would be to approach mental illness as advised by  R. D Laing  Institute whereby only those that have undergone the journey of ‘madness’ and recovered should be the ones to assist sufferers of a mental breakdown, since they have first hand experience.  Laing aimed to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Another alternative would be to use intervention in aid of preventative measures such as talking therapies and make such services more accessible.

Yesterday evening I visited a friend in a psychiatric unit and I was perplexed by the amount and range of medication she had been prescribed.  Is the aim of reducing the stigma expressed towards mental illness a way of normalizing this particular state of being due to the growing numbers of suffers and the GP’s tendency to hand out psychoactive drugs like candy.  If labels like schizophrenia and depression are to be revised than this can only be replaced with criminalization.  I must wonder!

Only the pharmaceutical companies will benefit from these sort of proposals.

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6 Responses to “Mental Health”

  1. Aiko 22/01/2013 at 11:13 #

    A licensed mnaetl health counselor has met or exceeded the following professional qualifications: Earned a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related mnaetl health discipline; Completed a minimum of two years post master’s clinical work under the supervision of a licensed or certified mnaetl health professional; and Passed a state-developed or national licensure or certification examination.The above is from the American Mental Health Counselors Association website. The areas of study from the same website are: Diagnosis and psychopathology Psychotherapy Psychological testing and assessment Professional orientation Research and program evaluation Group counseling Human growth and development Counseling theory Social and cultural foundations Lifestyle and career development Supervised practicum and internshipYou will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Any major is acceptable; however, a degree in psychology would probably be the most helpful. This would take at least four and perhaps five years. It will probably take you at least 2-1/2 to 3 years to complete your master’s degree. Therefore the entire process, including your supervised experience, will take between 8-1/2 and 10 years.How much you work each week is decided by you and your employer. Normally, counselors work about 40 hours a week, but not all of that time is spent in counseling. Was this answer helpful?

  2. Angel Heart 22/01/2013 at 23:53 #

    Well yes! Since I majored in Psychology and have a BA (hons) degree and completed a masters in counselling BUT that does not necessarily make a competent therapist. I know there are certain skills in counselling which require more than passing exams, it takes intution, insight, genuiness, empathy, understanding and excellent interpersonal skills etc which are not taught by books or lectures.

    I am a Counsellor coming from a spiritual perspective (although I do have a psychology backgound, I have also spent many years within spiritual practise) focusing on spiritual cultivation as well as psychological development – hence the subtitle of my blog Psycho-Spiritual life.

    I understand and love working with people and despite attaining a university qualification I know my ability to address the concerns of others is a direct gift that over shadows my experience of academia – spirit just is!


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