Opinion: rebadging the system

coherent-system-iconThe ‘mental healthcare’ system should be re-designated (and re-labelled) as primarily a system for emotional and psychological healthcare.


This is because the ‘mental’ designation is:

  • Misleading … emotions form the core experiences (sadness, rage, fear, anxiety, despair, guilt etc.) of most so-called ‘mental’ health problems.
  • Off-putting, with negative/stigmatising associations (s/he has ‘gone mental’ etc.).
  • An outdated historical relic:

o Stems from an era in which the relevant professions (e.g. psychiatry and psychology) were almost exclusively populated by men.

o Linked to the general historical tendency for males to be relatively less well attuned to the emotional side of life … and so more comfortable with the ‘mental’ designation.

o Carried over from before the counselling profession had come into existence.


Richard Oldfield (writer and policy developer)

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