The shortest possible course in mental health reform

Ask these questions about any mental health reform proposal you hear:

1.  Does it do no harm?
2.  Does it increase access to helpful things? 
3.  Does it increase things that matter?  Does it make help more helpful?
4.  Does it treat distress,  pain,  and misery as more than a matter of mental  health?   Does it address the conditions of misery as well as the experience of misery? Does it treat trauma, and injury as serious?   Does it assume the dignity and worth of the people it serves as a starting point?
5.  Does it promote honesty as a foundational principle of the mental health system?
6.  Who does this proposal leave in charge of the people served by the system?
7.  If the person you loved more than anyone else needed help would a system based on these reforms be more or less likely to help them?

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