Mental Health

Hello good folk. I know how you suffer. I know that you may have suffered for many years, and deeply. I have encountered my fair share of suffering, in myself and other people. I know that the last thing that many of you will feel ready to hear is that the system of medicine and care you thought was there to help you recover, is actually a big part of your suffering. But please read on.

The biomedical model of mental illness is obsolete. It has had its day. It is inextricably tied up with late-stage global capitalism -a destructive world system due for significant evolutionary change. Global capitalism produced the biomedical model of mental illness, with all its ‘cures’, and global capitalism has also produced most of the mental illness it pretends to cure. Please consider, that according to WHO, levels of mental illness are worse in so-called ‘developed’ countries, than in ‘developing’ ones.

This is not to deny the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic interventions. There is a great history of effective psychotherapy, especially as practised by the humanistic psychotherapists, from Carl Rogers onwards. What is criticised here is the mainstay of the biomedical model of mental illness -psychiatry.

The new culture and world system (or collection of localised systems) will make its own sense of mental health. However, a comprehensive overarching guiding model may be useful, based on extensive research. This would by ecological and human necessity be a ‘biosociocultural’ model of mental illness and recovery.

I have categorised the bases of biosociocultural mental health into 13 areas. This is an arbitrary division, based on my own experiences within the mainstream mental health services in the UK, on both the receiving and delivering ends, as well as the research I have done into mainstream and alternative perspectives on mental health. All the bases of mental health are interdependent; all affect each other and all are required for full mental health. Additionally I suggest that these bases can be used to determine the mental health of groups of individuals as wholes, including organisations and businesses.

Epic Tomorrows’ 13 biosociocultural bases of mental health:

1) The health of Nature / Gaia and the non-human physical environment

2) The health of the human physical environment

3) The total health of the physical body, including genetic and dietary

4) Sexual health and expression

5) Resource health (currently understood as financial wealth)

6) The health of the origin family / the health of upbringing / the presence of Roger’s Core Conditions in the primary caregivers

7) The health of the historical and present community

8) The health of the surrounding society and culture, historical and present

9) Relationship and communication health

10) Individual cognitive and emotional health (as separated from everything else: wrongly the main focus of the biomedical model)

11) Creative and expressive health

12) Spiritual-scientific health: the health of the system of knowledge and interpretation we use to understand and act in the world; strongly co-creative with narrative health

13) Narrative health – the health of the stories we live by, including the integrity of our futures; strongly co-creative with spiritual-scientific health. This includes linguistic health, implying new and revitalised languages which address ecocide, patriarchy, racism and all other oppressions. The English language, for instance, as it stands, is both consciously and unconsciously patriarchal and racist in much of its etymology. This needs addressing.