New Script for Mental Health, a region-wide, mental health rights-based movement and Glór na Mona, an Irish medium youth and community organisation, have partnered to develop a ground-breaking conversation series around mental health. The aim of this series is to foster critical conversations around the existing approach to mental health and to promote human rights-based alternatives to the dominant medical model.
From the UN and the WHO at the global level, to people in local communities everywhere, there is a growing movement to move beyond the now outdated medicalised model of mental health; what the UN has dubbed the ‘frozen status quo’.
To stop focusing on chemical imbalances and start focusing on power imbalances. To challenge the bio-medical approach to human distress, as espoused by drug companies and many psychiatrists. To examine what rights-based approaches look like, approaches that enable person-centred and community-based services, that raise awareness and challenge stigma, eradicate discrimination and coercion, promote community inclusion and participation and that develop accountability measures.
The inaugural event held on 17 October 2023, featured Dr. Pat Bracken, an internationally renowned psychiatrist, who will be interviewed by Dr. Eilish Rooney, former director of the Transitional Justice Institute and lecturer in Community Development in Ulster University.
Dr. Bracken works to promote the expertise of people with lived experience of mental health conditions and is an advocate of the recovery approach in mental health care. He calls himself a ‘critical psychiatrist’ and was one of the founders of the Critical Psychiatry Network. Dr. Bracken , who worked for decades as a psychiatrist in the south of Ireland, helped research and write a new international guide to good practices in mental health for the World Health Organisation, published in 2021.