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Journal cover: Journal of Public Mental Health

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Online from: 1999

Subject Area: Health and Social Care

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Challenging the globalisation of biomedical psychiatry

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Title:Challenging the globalisation of biomedical psychiatry
Author(s):Philip Thomas, (Bradford University), Patrick Bracken, (West Cork Mental Health Service, Ireland), Paul Cutler, (Kent), Robert Hayward, (Kent), Rufus May, (Assertive outreach team Bradford District NHS Care Trust), Salma Yasmeen, (Sharing Voices, Bradford)
Citation:Philip Thomas, Patrick Bracken, Paul Cutler, Robert Hayward, Rufus May, Salma Yasmeen, (2005) "Challenging the globalisation of biomedical psychiatry", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 4 Iss: 3, pp.23 - 32
Keywords:Biomedicine, Community development, Globalisation, Postpsychiatry, Psychiatry
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/17465729200500021 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:For over 100 years biomedical psychiatry has dominated the way people throughout the western world understand their sadness and distress, despite the lack of empirical evidence that distress has a biological basis. Now, the interests of the global pharmaceutical industry and trans-national professional elites such as the World Health Organisation and the World Psychiatric Association are extending these biomedical accounts across the globe. This paper briefly describes biomedical psychiatry and its origins before considering how this project is closely aligned to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry. It ends with a call for a new agenda in mental health, driven by the concerns and interests of ordinary people in local communities, and an outline of recent developments in Britain and elsewhere that illustrate this challenge to the biomedical hegemony.

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