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Psychologists and psychiatrists come together to combat polarisation in mental health debate

26 November 2018

The chief executive of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH) have called on the mental health professions to build “a coalition of trust, goodwill and an unwavering commitment to better mental health”.

In a joint statement published in The Lancet Psychiatry, Sarb Bajwa from the BPS and Wendy Burn from the RCPSYCH, together with the journal’s editor Niall Boyce, say much has been learnt over recent decades about the causes and treatment of mental health problems.

However, as well as contested ideas and beliefs, they say, the field of mental health has generated polarisation, bitterness and intransigence.

The authors say that good debate between mental health professionals should be respectful, constructive, and conducted in good faith, with conviction and good intention.

They say that it is necessary to recognise the complexity of the issues that arise within mental health professions, and accept that this means that no single approach will provide all of the answers, with multiple perspectives and partnerships representing the route to progress.

The BPS and RCPSYCH hope that the suggestions made in the piece provide much-needed common ground, and platform for us to create a future with better mental health for all.

Read the full article by Sarb Bajwa and Wendy Burn here.

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