After the findings that drugs commonly prescribed for depression are not only useless for many people with mild to moderate illness but actually harmful, we find that the pharmaceutical industry cloaked in secrecy. Once again the profit deity holds sway. This comes at a time when the government is told to make cabinet papers available regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq.
The need for secrecy it seems is not there in the interests of people. Each time it is there to protect powerful interests who have come to dominate. Globalisation is put forward as a desirable goal under this pattern of thinking, and it is the logic which has underpinned the European Common Market.
The thinking pervades education, health, the legal system. People are defined in categories so the guilty and innocent alike are caught up in the maelstrom.
We are concerned about the direction of travel. Even Gordon Brown, now leading the Thatcherite band who endorsed Tory policy when the New Labour machine started up, has taken a second look at gambling and drinking. The wild changes brought on us have come from ego maniacs, many of them discredited and parked in sidings. Problem though is they are still lurking in the shadows. Mandelson, Blunkett, Clarke et al, and yes even Blair waiting for the call from Europe. All bawling “democracy”, “Christian values” which their failing policies are manifestly not.
As far as depression is concerned, an ever growing concern globally, it is necessary to look at alternatives to drugs. Talking therapies is constantly mentioned by the government. These have been shown to help people as much as taking drugs for mild to moderate illness. After all the sources of depression are often social, yet the health service and particularly mental health persists in pushing a medical model. Medicines do not address root causes of anxiety and stress, or how to cope with it. It has been suggested that such feelings are effective mechanisms in helping people find their own solutions. However talking thinks through can help, but access to trained practitioners may not be easy. Women and black and minority ethnic communities are more vulnerable.
In Birmingham a website has been set up to help guide voluntary sector organisations develop their ability to compete with the large organisations. These are benefiting from the move away from grant funding to commissioning while smaller community based organisations have gone to the wall. Yet another example of the logic followed by the three main parties. No choice there!