As 200 public figures sign a letter seeking equality for mental health, will the government heed their concerns in this week’s spending review?
An open letter has been signed that calls for equality between physical and mental health treatment before the government’s spending review, as budget cuts put services under pressure to help those who require treatment. Signed by 200 public figures, it provides a call to action for the government to reduce the suffering of those with mental disorders by increasing investment in services, while reducing the burden on the NHS through “the improved wellbeing of our citizens”[i].
Additionally, the letter highlights ten major concerns over inadequate mental health care, including the lack of access to treatment, long waiting times, inadequate crisis care, use of police cells and the twenty-year gap in life expectancy between those with mental health problems and the rest of the population[ii]. In response to this, The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, and consequences. And most importantly, in the fight for equality, it reveals:
- what makes mental disorder undesirable,
- society’s scepticism and stigma surrounding mental disorder,
- mental disorder, self-respect and respect for persons,
- as well as social order, mental order and veils of ignorance.
The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness is a wise and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various creaks, cracks, and crevices into which it is prone sometimes to wander. It provides a systematic overview of all the issues surrounding the concept and theory of mental illness and thereby the central notions embedded in our mental health practices. This book is certain to become a classic, which will open the door for a dynamic exchange between the two fields of mental health, and the philosophy of mind - as the open letter delivered to the government explains that “mental health is an issue whose time has come. The cultural depth and political breadth of people making that call cannot be ignored”[iii].
[i] The Guardian (2015). Public figures sign letter seeking equality for mental health – The Guardian. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/02/public-figures-sign-letter-seeking-equality-mental-health [Accessed 2 November 2015]
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