May 7, 2012

Let's take mental illness away from the experts

It's time to do for mental illness what AA did for alcoholism.

The idea that ordinary people meeting in church basements could defeat killer social menaces like alcoholism was completely revolutionary, and has saved millions of lives.

If we want to be as successful with mental illness, we need a similiar approach. Something that names the problem, combined with a message focused on powerful recovery, not the details of treatment. I'm not saying that we don't need effective treatment too. But mental illness is scary, and we need to make mental illness simpler if we are to make it less scary.

Ordinary people help each other cope with difficult problems every single day in every culture on earth. Why not mental illness?

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