State of mental health care #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Some musings to entertain…

It’s important to consider what the right kind of care for those with mental health issues is because the fact is much of what is considered state of art now makes many people worse. Blanket calls for more available care isn’t enough or particularly sensible if we don’t also think about what better care looks like.

Pushing for making mental health treatment more accessible is not helpful if the available treatment and the status quo is largely failing many people.

One might read Robert Whitaker’s work on the state of mental health care, which is heavily dominated by pharmaceuticals that are well-documented iatrogenic agents. We cannot continue caring for our most vulnerable citizens with these methods. We are becoming sicker both mentally and physically as a nation. Those who get labeled with mental illness and are then treated with pharmaceuticals are some of the most unwell people in the country and they succumb to death 25 years earlier on average than the rest of the population. This is mostly because the treatment is toxic and people are not taught to care for themselves in other healing and holistic ways.

Most of our mental health care is coercive and disrespectful, too, at it’s very core, thus the trauma incurred actually exacerbates emotional distress rather than helping it.

Our current system of care is not what we should be making more accessible-it breeds more illness and despair.

Our care is like this because our society is sick…it’s a monstrous problem that needs to start with you and me looking in the mirror. Then we need to raise our children in more humane and loving ways. Right now everyone is brought up in a culture of abuse.

I often think of this profound but simple quote:

It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. — Jiddu Krishnamurti

There are models of care that work for those who are already manifesting great despair.  Models that teach love, compassion and belief in recovery and more importantly TRANSFORMATION.

Soteria’s methods, and Jungian work that allows one to transform psychosis  and heal, Open Dialogue which heals family and community units,  and Laingian work that looks at the nature of the “normal” human being as sick to begin with. These are just a few off the top of my head.

(since first writing this post some years ago I have learned about somatic approaches and for me those have been the most critically important and deeply healing approaches. Most I practice on my own, but I also have an amazing massage therapist, who has NO traditional mental health training, but is deeply trauma informed simply because she is healthy and tuned into natural well-being – most of the mental health professionals who are conventionally trained have simply not even healed themselves and so they just cause more harm. Somatic approaches are actually what I’ve been practicing from the very beginning but I didn’t use that language. It came to me through intuitively following the needs of my body…listening to the body is what I’ve been talking about since day one.)

Much of the more enlightened work being done to treat PTSD can also be transformative. Self-care with meditation can heal the mind too. Viewing emotional distress as spiritual emergency or, alternatively as a sort of shamanic calling, too can help some people. Tending to the care of the body too, matters. Diet and nutrition must support all foundational well-being.

Pair a transformative healing method with embracing our holistic natures so that we learn to care for the earth and our bodies as stewards to our being, minds and souls and we have something that can start healing our society, culture and planet too.

There are actually as many methods to heal as there are human beings. Unfortunately most human beings are terrified of their own mind and thus cannot begin to help those who manifest their troubles more obviously.

So again. We must start, always by looking at ourselves and owning our part in the chaos that is this, our humanity.

There is an urgent need for safe places for people to go and heal or receive care and information that they might do it for themselves. Until we provide such an infrastructure of care, we are not going to see the change that people are desperate for. I present these thoughts for people that we might think about how we are going to create a world where people might actually get what they need when they are faced with mental distress and/or crisis.

The information is out there, but not enough people know how to utilize and teach alternatives. Learn about the options. Spread the word. Be the change.



*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!




Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: