public understanding

In which I set this blog only moderately high standards

Mental health has long been a topic shrouded in mystery, known only to those who have experience of it, whether as professionals or service users (or, indeed, as both). I’ve always thought that those of us who do have experience of the area have an obligation to remove that shroud; to make it more accessible and less ethereal.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that the portrayal of mental health and, in particular, the public dissemination of research into mental illness, has often been problematic. Research ‘findings’ are published in newspapers and on the radio but most of us have little understanding of the scientific method and this limits our ability to digest and critique that research. In my view, anything that contributes to the general public’s understanding of science is good. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the qualifications (or the time) to debunk all the dodgy claims that are made, but I do know a thing or two about mental health, and I’m no stranger to conducting research. This, then, is my humble attempt to contribute to the public understanding of psychology and psychiatry. I hope to discuss stories and research presented in the media, and perhaps some of my own musings too. Debate is most welcome and I look forward to your contributions.