The ‘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- An outdated historical relic: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)