lørdag 17. januar 2015

Human rights as a foundation in mental help services

One of my strongest focuses in the mental health debate is on the mental health <--> human rights issue. As the human rights basics are not yet in place, if I see a big focus on for example a trauma model for mental problems as more or less ‘The humanistic approach’, I feel it’s a bit of a digression, because yes, there are many who have suffered traumas who suffer psychologically years after, and there is a big lack in mental health services for letting people share and process their traumas in an empathic environment that gives everyone enough space and time for this to be possible. I fully support and express the need for great changes related to that. At the same time, the reasons people suffer mentally may vary a great deal. Stress (not just trauma related), inflammation, physical illness/injuries/pain, side effects from medications, diet/lack of vitamins/minerals, psychosocial contexts and problems other than traumas are, in addition to traumas, examples of factors that might lead to mental problems, and often several factors may contribute in a complex mix, as for example the discourse of epigenetics opens up for.

Nobody with mental problems should be forced into anyone’s field of mental help understanding. The freedom to choose help within varied fields, including alternative fields, should apply to everyone. If someone imposes on someone else that the reason for their mental problems is trauma and that they need trauma help, that is just another - consciously or unconsciously - attempted restriction to each person's space to define what is-, what is not-, and what it is that one thinks one needs. From a human rights perspective, a person with mental problems should also have the legal right to reserve oneself from any mental help whatsoever. It should be fully respected if a person says:    
- Yes, your interpretation of my mental problems and help needs fit well with my own understanding, but I choose not to receive any of your relevant help with that.