A Plea for a More Honest + Less Despairing American Mental Health Conversation

I also recently posted a message about the way our current mental health conversation is also being framed:  A Plea for a More Honest + Less Despairing American Mental Health Conversation

The video represents some thoughts about what’s problematic with the terms of our prevailing American mental health conversation, and what motivates my work to encourage it to move in another direction. My basic argument is that we have been operating now for decades out of a conversational framework about mental health that inadvertently leads people toward greater burden and despair. In particular, I’ve witnessed many ways in which the dominant public conversation about mental health invites people to accept certain assumptions about the brain, recovery and treatment that can contribute to a sense of hopelessness. If these assumptions were backed by the weight of scientific authority, of course, we SHOULD keep saying them. But given how sharply contested some of these ideas are, perhaps it’s time to make these disagreements more central in our public awareness. How exactly to do that, and what it might mean (for those hurting the most), is the focus of my exploration here.

This is how I described it on Facebook:  “If I could stand on the tip-top of the tallest building, and speak with a megaphone that amplified my quiet voice in a way that it became seriously considered by people with decision-making power in my professional field, in my faith community, and in my state/nation – THIS is what I would say.”


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