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How We View Mental Health


Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 How We View Mental Health

David Cox of the Guardian (27 11 08) writes on a topical issue of mental health and how it is perceived by the public as a whole. He starts his article with a very relevant question “How do you regard mentally ill people?” His belief is that mental health would not be viewed in a favourable way.

At the hub of the matter Cox supports the concept that any one suffering mental health issues are just like anyone who is physically ill in that as humans all we want is a loving family, friends, a job and support. We all share the same needs ultimately.

Moreover, there are current campaigns to remove stigma surrounding mental health. Indeed the BBC have launched their own site HEADROOM to highlight the plight of the sufferers. This is a positive move for the general public to have a better understanding of what goes on in the minds of people on the edge.

In relation to the professional theory Cox suggests that conditions are primarily the product of brain chemistry malfunction, often genetically inspired. Thus the stress on drug treatments.

From a public point of view the public have been deemed as being slower on the uptake than the professional bodies in their levels of understanding and a good example of this is that Joe Bloggs still prefers to accept psychosocial as to biological explanations.

However one does have to consider that the public are more limited simply because they are not professional and therefore more constrained in the depth of knowledge surrounding mental health as a whole.

In fact according to Cox “as people are persuaded that mental illness is simply an unavoidable disease, their attitudes towards sufferers don’t become more positive. On the contrary, they become more negative”. He argues that as the public are coerced into believing mental illness is an inevitable disorder then Joe Bloggs will distance himself away as he will see himself in a different way. This could be misconstrued towards prejudice.

Concise information will always be key towards any natural progression.

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