If the stigma of having a mental health problem was abolished overnight, it wouldn’t make a real world difference to the daily life’s of any of the enormous numbers of sufferers that I know. Being against stigma is like being against war, desirable, but no guarantor of functioning. Politicians and Prince’s rightly clamour to be against the stigma surrounding mental health problems but it is delusional to think this has or could determine recovery from any recognised disorder. The clamour is often associated with the promise of more monies for mental health. This is given a cautious welcome by providers of mental heath services, but with a muttering of ‘yes but it is not enough, we need (an unspecified sum) to expand’. There is a steadfast refusal to acknowledge that even those currently treated are ill-served.
In my recent BBC TV interview (October 19th) I made the point that there is only a 15% recovery in the IAPT service, a total abscence of independent assessment despite spending over £1billion on the service, initial assessments by telephone by the least qualified clinicians, resulting in treatment built on sand. IAPT declined to be interviewed and simply re-iterated its’ party line, with no attempt to critique my findings. This has been followed by a deafening silence, what does this betoken?
Dr Mike Scott