Tell me more.
Why bother with this website?
- On the back of evolutionary psychology and concern with consciousness, the popular media has latched onto “key concepts” and “origins” of mental ill-health. The rush of articles claiming science has found the “cause” of depression and the “miracle cure” to bipolar shrink a diverse spectrum of human experience into yet another nugget-sized piece of news.
Prozac, Bipolar and serotonin are now household terms – but what is actually meant by these words? What makes up the science behind them? What are the cultural associations and impacts tied to them?
Most importantly: what does it mean to have a mental illness?
As much as we might want to deny it, medicine – particularly psychiatric medicine – is intrinsically cultural in nature.
For us to have mental illness, we must have a vague idea of mental ‘good health’, and what forms both of these categories hinges on our cultural values and expectations.
As the language and concepts of mental illness become part of the furniture of everyday life, we need to ensure that we have an accurate grasp of what they mean.
- Stigma surrounding mental ill-health is real and concerning. Despite the growing visibility of mental ill-health, the media is dominated by negative and outright inaccurate stereotypes surrounding mental health problems.
This stigma has a monumental impact that snowballs across all areas of mental health and mental health care – from making individuals less likely to seek help (thereby harming any to all areas of their work and home life), to draining the economy, discouraging the expansion of mental health services, to taking lives.
- Across the globe, various charities, medical bodies and developers are pushing funding into digitalised health platforms. But are these new websites, apps and games working? Are they cost efficient? How and why are they better than the support systems we already have? This website hopes to evolve into a peer-review system, exposing people to a range of sources whilst efficiently directing them to the resources rated most successful by those of us using them.
- The internet and technology are collapsing geographical and temporal divisions, revolutionising the way that we interact with each other. This power can and is harnessed by communities as a source of support, help, and information that targets their specific needs.
The digital mental health world is expansive but fragmented, with a Google search for “help with depression” bringing in close to half a million results. The community-generated support structures could be made more efficient and more diverse if they had an open-access archive acting as a spring-board for the wealth of resources.
- The drive to archive and digitalise medical resources focuses overwhelmingly on institutional and academic perspectives, which:
1. Often disregards the diversity, richness and nuances of the lived experiences of people with mental health conditions.
2. Tends to have limited and/or restricted (whether financially, linguistically, etc) access.
What can you do?
- Recommend any resources you would like to be featured on the site (including your own work).
- Write a post for the site.
- Review, rate and comment on the resources already on the site.
What potential problems are there?
In no particular order:
The cultural nature of mental health and pre-existing access issues bound up in the internet mean that this website may adopt a western approach to mental health problems. Wherever and whenever possible, this site will publish resources produced by ethnic, racial and cultural minority groups of the community. If a reader has any suggestions, please get in touch.
- Broader issues of diversity
Unfortunately, the online mental health world is not a level playing-field. Various resources may assume particular characteristics, qualities and privileges that this site acknowledges are not universal. As above, if a reader has any suggestions, please get in touch.
- Bias in post content
If you notice this, please get in touch.
- Funding and management problems (these resources are being collated voluntarily by a full-time final-year student!).