Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Normal healthy men of the world - you still need to be enhanced

These machines are all over the place. It's a fair assumption that every man in the UK will see a machine, selling a product like this, at some point (when they have to pee).

What I find especially disappointing about this example is that young men in particular are being given the messages:

Sex is about "performance"
You need to be "enhanced"

.... again, the inference is that normality just won't do. What you bring to your sexual encounters, i.e. "you", with the body you have, the sexuality you have developed, as an individual who can be good enough for a partner, is NOT good enough.

.... see also Menhancer and Sorry, Bernie

Friday, 10 October 2014

Nick Clegg's "boost" to mental heath services

I've come out of my blogging hibernation, to have a rant about deputy PM Nick Clegg's cash-injection into mental health services.
Clegg is promising that people with mental health issues will be seen more quickly. There will be a target waiting time of 18 weeks, he says, promising an extra £120 million of government funding.

The first thing that strikes me is that there is no mention of standards - no suggestion that the £120m will be spent on good quality psychotherapy. My guess is that much of the cash may be pumped into the already heavily-criticised IAPT programme. This thought saddens me deeply. I don't share the enthusiasm of (for instance) ReThink, who said “This is a watershed moment for everyone affected by mental illness and has the potential to improve the lives of millions.”. (... aren't ReThink one of the organizations who would stand to earn a chunk of the £120m??)

As other commentators such as Andrew Samuels have intimated, I think the £120m will largely be spent on expensive training for poorly-qualified practitioners, who will then deliver manualized psuedo-therapy.

One more thought... perhaps readers will remember what happened when Accident and Emergency waiting targets were introduced in the UK.  All kinds of amazingly creative tactics have been used to keep the figures down. In my town of Colchester, people are still waiting for hours in an ambulance outside the hospital - such is the need to massage the figures.
How can we expect anything different to happen in mental health services? I await with dread the horror stories to come, of patients who have been sidelined in ever-more demeaning ways, and their suffering made worse.

We need to do better.