This past Sunday morning, after a really good, long, healing night's sleep, I awoke, walked into my office and logged onto BBC News. I've just started to subscribe.
I've been feeling a bit claustrophobic lately. All this neuroscience for mental health is beginning to get to me. I'm itching for new perspectives. Fresh ideas. The North American biomedical approach to mental health is beginning to seem oppressive to me.
Out of curiosity, I decided to explore, so I typed "mental health recovery" into the BBC search engine, where I easily found a link to its bright purple and white Mental Health page with a big picture of a dozen or so people of diverse ages and races, smiling, plus dozens the following (unsponsored) section and links:
- Emotional health
- Disorders and conditions
- Coping Techniques
- Supporting and caring
- Therapy and therapists
- Understanding drugs
- See also (This page is filled with all kinds Useful Contacts.)
(I tried this with CBC News and one unsponsored story appeared. Dated May 23, 2008. The headline? More education needed about schizophrenia in teens years: experts.)
I clicked on every link and my mouth was watering. I knew Britain took a different, more enlightened stand on mental health, but I had no idea it was so dramatically different than what's going on here in North America. Neurosciences and drugs therapies are practically the only option available to people seeking help. No wonder 75% of Canadians who could be helped by some form of therapeutic treatment never seek it. That daunting statistic used to be 66% about 10 years ago. Now it's up 11%. Something is drastically wrong here.
But what really caught my eye on the main BBC.news Mental Health page, right at the top, was this main message. You couldn't miss it:
Maintaining a balance.