WMD on WMHD 2018


 

Plenty to like in the WHO statement  for World Mental Health Day 10th  October 2018 , calling for the  need to focus on mental health of young persons; with an emphasis on recognising the stressful world not of their making but in which, likewise, not of their own choosing they find themselves having to make sense of, and make a life in;  and on prevention and the need to  focus on supporting them in building resilience and skills to survive in that difficult world  in order to be able to make a life worth living in it.

Not much at all to like about how the mental illness-industrial-complex that we have builded-here, upon the foundational myth- the powerful single-story: that if a person struggles, then there is something wrong with them, and therefore we need to diagnose them, drug them up and dump them.

That this degradation narrative is now tagged onto the master file of one-in-four – over 2 billion – of us shows how utterly stark raving bonkers it is…

The conspiracy of institutions ravenous for more money to deliver more of the same message includes all those services, charities and NGOs that bring out their brightest and best weapons of mass deception on days like these, and who have have built their cash-grabbing/ “fundraising” strategy upon categorizing people as defective, diagnosable and thus we need them to fix us with their fixes; and then have the gall to admonishing those struggle when they choose [as is their right] to not make themselves even more vulnerable by seeking their brandedversion of  “help”.

Even, especially, a day later is a good day to reflect upon our own role – knowing and unknowing participation in how weaponizing diagnosis is a such a powerful tool of oppression, and maybe make some choices and some changes so we can suck less.

It is no coincidence that WHO’s call comes only a couple of days after the UN climate conference announced we have 12 years to turn around our abuse of the environment- even if you do think that’s nonsense, realise that young people can’t afford you to. The two are not unconnected- because everything IS connected – and young people can see how little regard you have for their future…

The act of diagnosing and naming a person as a mental illness is the basis of discrimination, a foundation of oppression, and a violation of personhood.

And – if you are one of those keen to do so – before you even mention the word, diagnosis is the root, trunk, branch and DNA of what you want to talk of as “stigma” because calling this spade a spade is yet still, too difficult a step for you to take. Time to call it by its true name.

At the centre of every “case” of “mental illness” is a human being, struggling, and in pain. and, likely not just the one person but, too, many of those connected with them.

Diagnosis and separating people is not only not the answer it is the very opposite of any kind of answer that will make a path out of the mess we’ve created.  Meanwhile, though connecting is not all we need do – there are too many – but it is a big part and one we can all play our role in, and one we can start any time.

“All that stuff about symptoms and diagnoses – it is interesting, it’s just not that useful.”

Our institutions and corporations have been successful in turning “mental health day” into “selling mental illness day”, it is what they do, and they are good at it.

We have made mental health all about diagnoses and drugs.
It is time we made it about people.

 

 WHO –  World Health Organisation Statement 10 Oct 2018

World Mental Health Day 2018

10 October

YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH IN A CHANGING WORLD

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however. In some cases, if not recognized and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows. Many adolescents are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.

Photo:WHO /Sergey Volkov

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders are also of concern.

Growing recognition of the importance of building mental resilience

Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world. Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities and society as a whole.

Prevention begins with better understanding

Much can be done to help build mental resilience from an early age to help prevent mental distress and illness among adolescents and young adults, and to manage and recover from mental illness. Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness. Parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and at school. Psychosocial support can be provided in schools and other community settings and of course training for health workers to enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.

Investment by governments and the involvement of the social, health and education sectors in comprehensive, integrated, evidence-based programmes for the mental health of young people is essential. This investment should be linked to programmes to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health and to help peers, parents and teachers know how to support their friends, children and students. This is the focus for this year’s World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day 2018

10 October

YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH IN A CHANGING WORLD

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however. In some cases, if not recognized and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows. Many adolescents are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.

World Mental Health Day 2018: “Young people and mental health in a changing world”.

Photo:WHO /Sergey Volkov

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders are also of concern.

Growing recognition of the importance of building mental resilience

Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world. Evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, both in the short- and the long-term, but also to economies and society, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families and communities and society as a whole.

Prevention begins with better understanding

Much can be done to help build mental resilience from an early age to help prevent mental distress and illness among adolescents and young adults, and to manage and recover from mental illness. Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness. Parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and at school. Psychosocial support can be provided in schools and other community settings and of course training for health workers to enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.

Investment by governments and the involvement of the social, health and education sectors in comprehensive, integrated, evidence-based programmes for the mental health of young people is essential. This investment should be linked to programmes to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health and to help peers, parents and teachers know how to support their friends, children and students. This is the focus for this year’s World Mental Health Day.

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