Beyond the Stigma of Mental Health

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

Grenfell Fire – A Cunning Plan?

Yesterday a Counsellor from the Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS) announced on the BBC News, that staff are going to go door to door asking whether the occupants want professional help. Is this really the best use of resources 6 months after the tragedy? The days news also contained an item on a parent averting the gaze of her children from the Grenfell Fire Tower Block as she took her children to school.

Without health staff having a clear understanding of what in effect constitutes the ‘bruising/ tissue damage’ from  the Tragedy as opposed to that which constitutes ‘disorder’ scarce resources are likely to be squandered. There is clearly a role for a preventative/ 1st Aid input, information about not blocking intrusions, the normality of a period of increased irritability, anxiety about rehousing but there also has to be a reliable assessment of dysfuntion so that an evidence based treatment can be highlighted.

Dr Mike Scott