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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Me, My Brain, and Baked Beans, by Professor Peter Kinderman

                                               ME, MY BRAIN, AND BAKED BEANS


A Prescription for Psychiatry lays bare the flaws and failings of traditional mental health care and offers a radical alternative. Exposing the old-fashioned biological 'disease model' of psychiatry as unscientific and unhelpful, it calls for a revolution in the way we plan and deliver care. Kinderman challenges the way we think about mental health problems, arguing that the origins of distress are largely social, and urges a change from a 'disease model' to a 'psychosocial model'. The book persuasively argues that we should significantly reduce our use of psychiatric medication, and help should be tailored to each person's unique needs. This is a manifesto for an entirely new approach to psychiatric care; one that truly offers care rather than coercion, therapy rather than medication, and a return to the common sense appreciation that distress is usually an understandable reaction to life's challenges.

'Peter Kinderman puts his finger on much that is wrong with modern-day psychiatry, with its obsession with empty diagnostic labels, indiscriminate and uncomprehending use of toxic drugs for years on end, and its blindness to the social context of suffering and distress. Kinderman sketches a welcome vision of an alternative approach grounded in a society that fosters well-being through political means, with services oriented to helping people address their unique individual problems. It is a challenging but realistic vision for change, and should open a much-needed debate.' - Joanna Moncrieff, University College London, UK

'In this book Peter Kinderman argues that mental health services are too reactive and medicalised and he outlines a manifesto for a psychosocial approach, putting much more emphasis on wellbeing and public health, with services based within local authorities rather than the health system. This is a much-needed intervention in current debates about mental health policy and should be read by anyone interested in rethinking how we respond to serious psychological distress.' - David Harper, University of East London, UK

'Professor Kinderman has spent his career working in our mental health services and has reached the conclusion that in their current form they often do more harm than good. His 'prescription for psychiatry' is either visionary or scandalous, depending on your point of view, but never boring. A must-read for everyone with an interest in mental health.' - Anne Cooke, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

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