This article is a response to an opinion piece published on CommonSpace about mental distress from a socialist perspective (click here to read it)
UNLIKE Dr Bruce Scott, I have no medical or psychiatric training, so in some senses I’m poorly prepared to challenge his position. However, I do feel equipped to respond from the perspective of someone who has experienced mental illness, cares for someone with a severe and enduring mental health issue, campaigns against discrimination and stigma and teaches mindfulness meditation for well being.
I’m sufficiently left of centre to appreciate and welcome the socialist standpoint Scott takes. It is refreshing to read a perspective on mental and emotional distress that embraces the social contexts in which distress arises or is so identified.
The literature on the prevalence of diagnosed mental ill health in communities experiencing poverty is unequivocal and points clearly to the preconditions that may create mental distress.
However, the processes that create understandable reactions to intolerable conditions are less widely recognised.
Picture courtesy of Gatis Gribusts