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Event explores the culture of labels and the real causes of mental distress


The dominant culture of mental health labels will be challenged in a pioneering event in Wolverhampton which calls for more understanding of the root causes of emotional distress.

'A Disorder for Everyone!’ is being held at the University of Wolverhampton on Friday 14 June 2019 and will be officially opened by Eleanor Smith MP.

The key message of the event is that mental health problems are often the end result of socially caused adversities such as poverty, inequality, abuse and trauma rather than indicative of a biological illness.

The Wolverhampton ‘A Disorder for Everyone!’ conference is hosted by psychotherapist Jo Watson and clinical psychologist Dr Lucy Johnstone in association with the University of Wolverhampton.

Participants from diverse backgrounds and life experiences will be invited to discuss and challenge the dominant culture of psychiatric diagnoses.

This conference is part of a series of events that aim to help change the conversation around mental health, and to encourage a move away from the language of diagnosis and disorder.

It also aims to help the media avoid perpetuating myths and misunderstandings about mental distress.

Organiser Jo Watson said: “We need to get away from ’labels’ that all too often define people for life. It is crucial that journalists have a clearer understanding of non-medical approaches in order to give the public an objective and balanced viewpoint. There is little or no evidence for the 'faulty genes' or 'chemical imbalance' explanations that are often put forward, and we need alternative ways of understanding people's very real emotional distress.”

Eleanor Smith MP will be opening the event and the day is full of prominent figures within the debate including world famous best-selling author Johann Hari and psychiatrist Sami Timimi.

Consultant clinical psychologist and author Dr Lucy Johnstone will also be speaking. She added: “It is essential we work collaboratively with a person in distress to understand their story and what has happened to them. For too long we have ignored the impact of trauma and adversity in people's lives. This event is helping to change that.”

Those who can’t attend the event on 14 June 2019 can join the growing online movement of people who are curious about challenging the biomedical model of mental health.

There are currently just over 9,000 members in the Facebook group Drop the Disorder!, and over 27k followers of @adisorder4everyone on Twitter. You can follow the event using the hashtag #adisorder4everyone.

For more details of the event, and to book click here:

Further information


Twitter: @dropthedisorder @ClinpsychLucy

Date Issued: Monday, 3 June 2019

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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