Staying a person within the mental health sector

@sarahkreece “But I guess I don’t want to be a professional. On the other hand, I do need to make a living. And there’s the clash. I do need to understand and work within the legal and cultural frameworks I’m presented with. I haven’t found a path yet. I’m still hacking at the jungle and hoping there’s a way through. I’m still trying to get out from under the paralysis that trips me up when I feel like success is as much a threat to me as failure.”

Holding my childhood to ransom

I’ve just read this article 20 Ways to Combat Rankism, by Robert W Fuller, and it resonates with me. I’ve been talking about this issue of what I’ve called a class divide in mental health. I’ve watched organisations that started as peer based, consumer-led, with a lot of flexible cross over between the service users and service providers become dramatically divided into distinct classes. The service users and providers become totally different from each other in dress, language, culture, attitudes, expectations of behaviour, and places they are permitted to access. Most of the power in this unequal relationship resides with the providers, who also bear responsibility for ensuring good outcomes to justify funding. These groups become rapidly polarised when mutual relationships are not holding them both aware of their shared humanity. The roles of provider and user can each be rigid and dehumanising. Those of us who are service providers…

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