Inside Out, Outside In: Transforming mainstream mental health practices

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Author: Editors: Harry Gijbels, Lydia Sapouna & Gary Sidley

Publisher: PCCS Books

Published: 07/11/2019

ISBN: 9781910919491

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Human distress has historically been understood and responded to almost exclusively either as a biological disorder or a psychological deficit. This has led to the development of powerful structures, ‘mental health systems’, that have dominated thinking and practice around mental health and been controlled by the psychiatric profession. Despite widespread recognition that such systems are often ineffective and can even be harmful, the bio-medical ethos, with its focus on ‘mental illness’ and primary use of drug treatments, continues to prevail in mental health practices. This book showcases current projects that offer user-centred, context-informed, non-medical ways of helping people experiencing distress and overwhelm. The first section of the book includes projects located inside mainstream services that seek to influence change from within, including the education of future generations of practitioners. The second section describes projects that have established themselves as independent entities, outside mainstream structures and services, giving them the freedom to be truly radical in their approaches and influence by example. In a final section, the book looks at work aiming to challenge the wider societal influences that maintain the status quo and perpetuate factors that lead to mental distress and overwhelm.