Awareness raising for mental health (and an interesting omission)

There’s a good article in the Guardian, which mentions a recent “outrage” about some nasty bratty youtuber who showed a suicide on his highly subscribed channel ($$$). Nasty little brat’s excuse was that it was to “raise awareness” – and that concept is the main point of the article.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/03/logan-paul-youtube-suicide-mental-health-raise-awareness

“The primary goal of much visible mental health activism became “raising awareness”, and it completely dominated the media: articles, books, TV shows all firmly focused on the idea of breaking down stigma. The actual day-to-day realities of people with chronic mental illness were seemingly unimportant – it didn’t seem to matter what they needed or how they felt, just as long as we knew they were there.”

Right, this is classic social media “slacktivism” – tweet and bleat at people but never engage in any practical way with the day to day realities (that would require actual hard work and a motivation beyond being “liked” online).

There is also a glaring omission in the article

“The politics of mental health – the impact that austerity has on the lives of mentally ill people, as well as poverty, racism, lack of access to services – have broadly been ignored in favour of simply encouraging people to “talk”.”

… austerity, poverty, racism, lack of access …

Ok, it’s probably not meant to be a comprehensive list, and developing that would be a whole other post (and not the point of that particular article) but even so, here’s the elephant (first few google hits, lots more besides):

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/23/stress-anxiety-fuel-mental-health-crisis-girls-young-women

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/23/mental-health-data-shows-stark-difference-between-girls-and-boys

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/why-are-so-many-of-britains-teen-girls-struggling-with-mental-he/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/one-ten-teen-girls-referred-nhs-mental-health-services-first/

 

 

Awareness raising for mental health (and an interesting omission)

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