Journal article Open Access

It takes a village to deal with mental health: How to integrate theory, practice, and social policies

Russell, Cormac

The ratio of investment in ‘talking cures’ as against chemical ones reveals a trend towards viewing people with mental health issues as in need of chemical intervention and consequently towards the exponential growth of prescription drugs and new diagnostic labels. Currently, it is estimated that one in six adults in the US takes a psychiatric drug, with antidepressants being the most common, followed by anxiety relievers. Meanwhile, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), published in May 2013, contained a massive expansion of labels around what is currently considered to be within the domain of mental illness. These are a very complex set of issues that have more to do with market forces, the imbalance of power across society, and the need to properly regulate big pharmaceutical companies, than they do with patient care and general mental health. The central point within this article is made best in the words of Young (2010): ‘Good mental health is rooted in social cohesion, not in the individual.'

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