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Hi I'm Access, lately I'm caught up in a world where I can't escape the reality that the way I'm treated is as diagnosis.  Looking at many mental health documentaries I have learned that this is a common theme to those of us that suffer.  A recent movie I watched available on Kanopy (free to many public library users) is called "Crazywise".  In this documentary many health professionals illustrate mental health patients are treated by a biomedical approach.  This is where the health professional uses their expertise to assess, diagnose and treat mental health conditions or problem/s.  In this approach the consumer is treated like a construct of symptoms and health professional evaluations don't take into account whole-of-life experiences or even consumer social equity within the community.  


In the public health system mental health consumers are suppossed to be part of an intergrated recovery approach to shy away from biomedical traditions.  This approach is where the health professional considers the consumer the expert, using consumers lived experience to inform them and provide choices about what works and what does not work.  This approach is supposed to facilitate effective treatment and management where consumers are more likely to self-manage and work in partnerships with health professionals towards their recovery.  Having worked in mental health and now working in the disability sector, I have had a lot of experiences monitoring the terms in which people are treated by health professionals.  As I'm aware, there appears to be a lot of biomedical conditioning occurring and the fact that health services now use a recovery approach may be just a "rebadge" of biomedical systems.  Certainly, there is a strong consumer movement within mental health services these days, but have things changed that much?  Think of the last time the way you were treated by mental health services, and ask yourself, have I just been treated like a collective of symptoms?

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