just a question…
what is this thing: the mental health system?
…and do we actually have one?
A society that treats every human fallibility as a deficiency, defect, or disorder that needs to be eradicated, cut out, drugged-away seems less about health and healing than it does about… well, about something else.
A system that segregates people who are struggling and treats them as less than human – sidelines them to the disability list and the un-wellfare trap- seems less about any kind of health than it does about… well, about something else entirely.
So is that a mental health system?
We certainly do have a system in which much is invested and many people work in many and sometimes impressive buildings. We certainly do have a lot of organisations in which many people spend a lot of their time in meetings trying figure out how to work with each other, and in filling data into forms to report to some higher power about how much good they do for those designated mentally ill. We certainly do have have a system that is deeply invested in people being supported by – or dependent on – the services it provides. And we most certainly do have a system that is expanding and creating ever more opportunities for careers as mental health patients and that supports them in remaining ill, and poor, and excluded.
We have created for ourselves a society and a way of living that takes it’s toll on each of us every day in many ways – often chronic illnesses and often mental illness.
Is any of that really a “heath system”?
We might sometimes call it a mental health system but is it? – a system that promotes and enables improved [mental] health? Indeed, do we actually know what a mental health system is? or what one would look like?
Maybe what we do have is a very effective mental illness sytem.