this is a paper about the need to incoporate changing econimic landscapes into our understanding of mental health. In this opinion piece, Walker explores what he describes as the “recent reactionary innovations in mental health social policy and practice, their abject failure to address the most basic political and economic issues and their paradoxical contribution to the creation of social suffering in the West”. He seeks to relocate political and economic decision making as the fundamental contaminant in the lives of people who experience mental health difficulties. Psychiatrists and psychologists who uncritically practice individualising approaches to suffering are blamed for continuing to use their professional status to bolster and sustain a “shockingly unjust” political and economic consensus that is driving the increased suffering and distress experienced by so many. The writer quotes as an example the insult and perversity of offering cognitive behaviour therapy to a profoundly unhappy lone parent working 70 hours a week in two jobs and living in inadequate housing in an area of poverty and poverty of aspiration. The Anglo-American business model is blamed for much of the misery in society. While noting that the idea that poverty and misery go hand in hand is not new, Walker believes that the parasitism and opportunism of mainstream psychology as the Government further promotes an individualistic discourse is “breathtaking”.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Critical Psychology Counselling and Psychotherapy|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2009|
Bibliographical note(c) The Author(s) and PCCS, 2009
- Mental Health