Authors: Terri Warner
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Reconstructing mental health post-NDIS: Examining contemporary narratives and frameworks.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Terri is a mental health educator and advocate who uses lived experience to bring about positive changes in health services. She is currently completing her Masters thesis examining the paradoxical nature of psychosocial disability as constructed by the NDIS. She is the Chair of the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.
The argument that mental health does not sit comfortably with the NDIS is increasingly supported by evidence reported by both the community managed mental health sector and the academic literature. Much of this evidence positions the NDIS as the problem without examining the deeper issues of how mental health is constructed and whether frameworks such as the medical, recovery and biopsychiatry models are the premises on which mental health services and supports should be based. By foregrounding psychosocial disability, the NDIS has unwittingly contributed to the unmooring of mental health from its seemingly fixed position relative to both disability and physical health. Taking a structural approach, this presentation will position the NDIS within a broader discussion about how mental health conditions should be conceptualised within the context of existing and emerging counternarratives voiced by disability studies and mad studies scholars, and by voices from the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. This conceptualisation has implications for what treatment and support should really look like, and how and when recovery narratives are useful. We may need to think very differently about mental health in order to create systems and services that meaningfully address it.
Learning Objective 1: The audience will develop an understanding of the different narratives that exist and are emerging in mental health, and of how they can be applied to bring about innovations in treatment, care and support.
Learning Objective 2: By learning about and critically examining narratives and conceptual frameworks, and asking if what is dominant is still suitable or useful, services can develop ways to position themselves as thought leaders in mental health reform and advocate for lasting positive change across all areas of mental health.
Radden, Jennifer. 2012. ‘Recognition rights, mental health consumers and reconstructive cultural semantics.’ Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine 7:6.
Williams, Theresa and Geoffrey Smith. 2014. ‘Can the National Disability Insurance Scheme work for mental health?’ Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48(5):391-394.