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 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 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 have been experiments with 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 the idea that transformation and healing is possible.

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 and am self-guided via life to find therapeutic moments simply while living. I no longer look to “systems” at all)

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 within us and not enough people know how to utilize and teach alternatives. Learn about the options. Spread the word. Be the change.



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. 

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