Rather than locate the problem in the individual, let’s talk about the slashing of council budgets, legal aid and education spending

I have a radical proposal for tackling the mental health crisis. Let’s just stop talking about stigma. I’m not suggesting stigma isn’t a problem. I’ve written about it myself. But all this talk of stigma has become a politically convenient red herring.

It is another way of locating the problem in the individual, “If only he’d felt able to talk …”, and in the attitudes of others towards the individual, rather than where a very large portion of it belongs: in government policy. From attempts to demonise people on sickness benefits as morally inferior scroungers, to the decimation of social care and mental health services, to repeated failures to heed the warnings of mental health professionals, activists and carers, to the devastating impact of welfare reforms, successive Conservative governments have failed people with mental health difficulties at every conceivable turn. Not surprisingly, Theresa May wields the great stigma decoy at every opportunity. “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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17 November 2018