MENTAL HEALTH AND EDUCATION: PERSONAL EXPERT OPINION BY PROFESSOR TOM CRAIG

 

Tom K J Craig PhD FRCPsych: Emeritus Professor of Social Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, and. Immediate Past President World Association of Social Psychiatry (UK).

His clinical research focuses on developing and evaluating community-based psychiatric services and the promotion of these solutions at a National and International level. These programmes have included residential alternatives to the hospital asylum, specialised services for homeless mentally ill people, supported employment and Clubhouse programmes, services for first episode psychosis and studies of the computer-based AVATAR programme for the treatment of auditory hallucinations.

“Education is a vital component of efforts to improve mental health. In the widest sense, we need to educate those in power of the role that trauma, exclusion and abuse play in causing mental ill health and how reducing stigma and discrimination assist recovery. For example, international research has shown that teachers can be taught basic mental health strategies such as the prevention of bullying and the best ways of managing disruptive behaviours. Effective programmes exist to help people with mental health problems retain and re-enter employment.  But these and other helpful programmes from prevention through rehabilitation need the assistance of mental health professionals. And they in turn will rely on high quality education about the best evidence-based interventions for the prevention, treatment and support of mental ill health”.

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