The Future of People with Severe Mental Illnesses is in the Wrong Hands

Planning for the future presents serious problems for parents of people with significant disabilities; when those families are dealing with psychotic illnesses, the future is especially frightening.

Organizations have become skillful at lobbying for humane supports for people with most disabilities. However, for people impacted by the most severe mental illnesses, the future is in the wrong hands.

To understand the problem, look at the taxpayer-funded Alternatives conference being held this week in Austin, Texas. Anyone assuming that this large, annual mental health event is designed to help people with the most severe mental illnesses just needs to study the program carefully.

While its theme promotes “Valuing Every Voice,” try to locate what the conference offers for people with psychotic disorders. Actually, you won’t find the words “psychosis,” “bipolar disorder,” “schizophrenia,” or even “mental illnesses” in the program, since this kind of labeling is considered to be the problem.

….The term “alternatives” refers to alternatives to science-based approaches to mental illnesses. Neuroscience understands schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to be brain disorders. Instead of letting the conference participants understand what is known about these disorders, this conference assumes that neuroscience has nothing useful to offer in understanding mental illnesses.

by Susan Inman, The Huffington Post

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