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Friday, 18 November 2016

The politics of mental health

I completely agree with Vanessa Garrity (‏@VanessaLGarrity) that mental health nursing is bound to social justice, especially in terms of nurses having to stand up for the cuts and changes to the NHS (privatisation is what I don't hesitate to call it).

 I'm a teacher and I feel my profession is a heavily politicised job and I feel that I have a duty to protest and attend rallies in order to stand up for my rights and the rights of the children in my care. I believe the same for NHS workers too.

Picture of one of my zines about mental health

In fact, I see the parallels between NHS and the education system, and I see how the two are in very similar predicaments and social positions right now. I believe both professions can offer each other support in this extremely difficult political climate. The politics of mental health is an enormous topic, from diagnosis, to psychiatry, to pharmaceuticals to stigma, identity and more.

But I think it's also important to recognise the thousands and even millions of people who have been failed by a lack od access to appropriate and timely mental health care. Recently, Sally Brampton's death made the news. There have been many, many more who have been failed by the inadequacies of our mental health services too.

 Em (@DrEm_79) is one of my favourite mental health bloggers and her recent Tweet struck me really hard; it speaks for itself about the predicament in which we find our mental health services.