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Reisverslag Statements @ WSF workshop Mental Health Care
24 januari 2007
Statements @ WSF workshop Mental Health Care
WSF Statements / 22 januari 2007 / van 2.30 hr tot 5.00 hr / room 18/1/10
Actiegroep Tekeer tegen de isoleer! – Stichting Mind Rights www.mindrights.org
1. Nobody is perfect. People can have good feelings, but they can also suffer from bad feelings, like sadness, anger or confusion. Those bad feelings are also HUMAN feelings and they should be accepted as a part of the human nature. It is NO possession by evil spirits, nor a mental illness. It is only sufferance of the soul with main causes in power imbalances, such as abuse, violence and poverty.
a. Referring to bad feelings as evil Spirits, and practicing exorcisms is very hostile towards human beings, and it denies the existence of bad feelings in the human nature. The stigma of being possessed is almost unbearable, and causes unnecessary fear, confusion and grief for those who already suffer.
Exorcisms should be replaced by treatments with regard for the patients inner life and should be aiming for social inclusion and empowerment.
b. A rather similar stigma is created by Modern perfectionism, with various products for mood-improvements, breast-increasements and anti-aging. This is established and exploited within commercial means. and is also based on not accepting any so-called imperfect features nor bad feelings of a human being.
Being different or feeling unhappy is nowadays analysed as a chemical balancing disorder , which is a narrow view and also a very dangerous trend. Falling in love, grief and homosexuality also happen to be certain neurochemical processes in the brain of the human, but these are not illnesses.
c. By reducing human feelings to Chemical balances the human right to have feelings is again diminished, which is in fact a severe crime towards humanity. The pharmaceutical drugs are nowadays also for sale on commercial markets, and show us that we have a choice or even a responsibility to be perfectly balanced and standardized, with none of the unwanted features and feelings.
By calling bad and unwanted feelings a possession, an illness or a balancing disorder, a very important part of the complex human nature is neglected and this gives possibilities to create a harmful and cruel society where human emotions are no longer valued. This is very dangerous to our society.
Having feelings and handling feelings is a very social issue. Therefore mental health is a very important issue for all human beings.
Because of the social basis of mental health and mental health related problems, the community plays a very important role in mental health care.
• We have to claim that there are no mentally ill people, but just people who suffer in personal ways, who are not to be subjected to exorcisms or a medical regime in virtue of their ideas and behaviours.
2. Mental health is highly related to the social background of a person.
In warzones and former warzones people suffer from mental health problems. Within poor areas the psychosis-rates are higher, compared to the number of psychosis in richer areas.
A lot of psychiatric disorders are caused by violence and the abuse of power. A main theme is child abuse. And a second theme is violence against women. Also housing problems, unemployment, under developed neighbourhoods, loss of friends and drug abuse are all social circumstances which can lead to an outburst of psychic problems.
Coping with mental problems is a very personal process, but this can not be distinguished from the community, because mental health is a social issue.
Patients need to be loved and not be feared, stigmatized, rejected and treated wrong.
• To be welcome, and to belong to the community (or a family or any group) is a key issue in establishing recovery from mental health problems. Patients belong to the society, not to a hospital or prison. So society must embrace those who suffer from their emotions.
• Networks on self-support, such as usergroups, can provide support and guidance and information on Best Practices, to prevent the abuse of power and the violation of vulnerable groups, such as children, women, poor people and people in warzones or former warzones.
3. Within neoliberal culture, like in the Netherlands in Europe, the lack of knowledge about mental issues is growing, because the community is shattered and replaced by money making and working 24-7. This is accompanied by social neglect, individualism and loneliness. Patients still are seen and treated as useless, secondary humans and there is hardly any space left for personal issues or family-love. Most emotions are rejected and feared.
• But there is no health without mental health. Emotions should be appreciated.
4. The psychiatric jargon is a powerful tool within psychiatry. The psychiatric jargon is very complex in it's nature, mainly because it disguises all it really refers to. Sadness is called a depression and overwhelming confusion is called a psychosis. These labelling words do not cause more understanding nor affection within the community, and they are not solving any problem for the patients. Instead they just stigmatize the patients which causes even more trouble than they already had.
• Words play a very important role in the mental health system, and we must be sure to call "things" with their real name.
5. Within the psychiatric hospitals worldwide, the average situation is very bad, with poverty, neglect and torture.
In Eastern Europe 50% of the patients die within the first year of their admission, due to poor hygiene, lack of food and improper treatments with psychiatric drugs, violence and ECT.
In Africa most patients do not even reach the few psychiatric hospitals, and their problems are often ritually chased by churches and witchdoctors in the villages.
In rich countries wealth has replaced social life, and advanced repression is often very common. Real helpful psychiatry still has not really been established yet.
6. Neoliberal strategies of making money should not be implemented in the Mental Health Care sector. Privatizing Mental Health Care leads to a cutting down of the expenses on the care itself, or higher fees.
a- Higher fees mean that the patients are pointed at an Own Responsibility for their illnesses and that they have to pay more for their treatments. And in fact it means that the Rich part of the population does not want to pay for the poorer citizens
• We need international solidarity towards those who suffer. Make sure that the psychiatric patients are no longer forgotten.
b- Cutting down the expenses leads to a situation where people don’t get the help they need, because the cheapest option is not always the best option. For example, the description of pills is cheaper than psychotherapy, in special when the bonuses and mass discounts from pharmaceutical industries are taken into acccount. But pills only repress the symptoms of the social emotional struggle, and they usually don´t cure the core of the problem, which lies in social aspects..
• The expenses and profits may never become the guidelines of mental health care.
• By privatizing Mental Health Care, a positive development of the Quality of Mental Health Care is under a threat. Mental Health Care should be a public service to offer the Best Care for the lowest price, without making private profits.
7. The most highest rate of isolation cell usage within European member states can be found in the Netherlands (about 75% of all patients gets isolated for a shorter or longer period during admission). Other forceful repressive means, such as fixation with chains or straps, drugging and electroshocking are also well known by the psychiatric patients, disabled and elder people (with Alzheimer etc) These methods are traumatizing on itself.
These compulsory treatments are mainly used because the inadequate number of employed professionals in psychiatry, which is due to the lack of investments.
But also the psychiatric professionals are constrained to do their job in accordance with the rules, and they cannot freely decide what to do. (for example with regard to the legislation and the abilities and means which they have or don’t have, such as money and facilities or even insurance policies).
• More efforts should be made to give the patients the care and attention they need and to avoid exclusion. The Human species are one worth to take care of.
• Caring for one another is not only the job of professionals, but it is a task of all human beings, especially in society. Another world is possible.
• All patients must have the right and abilities to address complaints about their treatments at any time.
8. Large scaled psychiatric hospitals, with a high population of psychiatric patients, do show a lot of poverty, annoyance, prostitution and drug abuse. This, combined with the usually impersonally approach and the imbalance of power within psychiatry, and the stigma and exclusion of psychiatric patients, makes the problems of a psychiatric patient even worse than they already are.
• Large scaled psychiatric hospitals should be replaced by smaller community-based service facilities, to give better personal care to the patients, and to give the patients the opportunity to participate in the daily life of the society.
• Good Quality of mental health care means that the patient and their surroundings are both satisfied.
• The wellbeing of the patients and recovery of their inner peace must be the key issue at all time.
The quality of care depends highly on the social awareness, efforts and abilities of a specific area or country to invest in the quality of mental health care.
10. Freedom, patient and client movements, psychic and psychiatrical problems and mental health care are closely related to one another. The practice of the Own Responsibility of psychiatric patients means to organise and establish all kinds of networks on self-support.
Governmentally founded initiatives on the social participation of psychiatric patients, generally imply the influence of psychiatric professionals, which may lead to the old-fashioned habits where patients have a secondary position.
11. It is important to talk about psychiatry within the movement of Social Forums, which originates the modern reflections of freedom.
Foto's bij verslag (1)
24 januari 2007 13:52 | Door: Martin
HEEL ERG GOED!
Ook het Engels.
Paar kleine taalfoutjes.
bij 4, onderaan: "to call things BY their name"
bij 6b: "prescription i.p.v. description"
bij 7, onderaan: "one worth TAKING care of"
bij 10: ik denk dat je physical and psychiatric bedoelt, psychic betekent paranormaal
je weet toch: ik ben een miereneuker! ;)