Reporting Scotland ‘has’ their own mental health crisis just for you based on a ‘Trawl’

Abigail Reynolds with Lisa Summers
Abigail Reynolds says her mental health challenges became much harder during lockdown

BBC Scotland’s Lisa Summers interviews one person and relies on a ‘trawling’ Royal College of Psychiatrists/YouGov survey to construct a mental health crisis in Scotland.

On Reporting Scotland this morning and ten doses more today:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says Scotland is in the grip of its worst ever mental health crisis and is concerned about how many lives are being lost because services cannot cope with demand. Psychiatrists say about a third of the adult population is now displaying the kind of serious symptoms that could characterise a psychiatric illness, such as loss of sleep, self harm or severe eating disorders.

Dr Morris:

Twice the number of people now are experiencing the sort of features of a mental illness that would actually make psychiatric treatment worthwhile.

That’s all Reporting Scotland have from her but readers will not be surprised that this broadcast insert comes from a longer piece from Lisa Summers, already on the website and, typically, built around one person.

There’s an astonishing section in the report by Summers:

A YouGov poll of 1,055 people from across the country suggests 40% of Scots think the pandemic will be damaging to their mental health over the next year. Just under a third (32%) thought mental health services across the country are bad and almost half (46%) said the Scottish government was investing too little in mental health services during the pandemic.

Dr Jane Morris, consultant psychiatrist from RCPsych in Scotland, said: “These new statistics are deeply worrying and prove we are dealing with a mental health emergency.” On the scale of the problem, she said: “About a third of the population now would probably reach case status for diagnosis of a mental disorder. That is really very worrying indeed.”

So, an online survey of 1 055 out of 5.4 million, where people are just asked their opinions, ‘proves’ that there is a mental health emergency? Psychiatrist are clever folk but they’re not researchers or they wouldn’t say things like that.

What might get closer to proving something might be statistics illustrating a massive increase in referrals to mental health services or of mental health related incidents such as suicide. Where are these data?

With regard to actually spending too little, what are the figures? How do they compare with other countries?

Also missing from this attempt at journalism, is that kind of critical thinking which might inform the reader, rather than just chuntering along in the wake of high-status folk with an agenda and faithfully platforming them with your own wee speciality added – finding one sad person to walk and talk with as these new cameras get close enough to spot the smallest suggestion of moisture in the eye.

What real journalists used to do in Scotland (Ian Bell) and a few at the Guardian (George Monbiot) still do, is ‘pull the curtain back‘ or ‘lift the rug.’ to question what is happening here.

For example, Stanley Kutcher, writing in the Independent in 2018, says:

If the media coverage is to be believed, we are drowning in a sea of mental illness that threatens to overwhelm post-secondary institutions. The call then is for more pills, more therapy, more of everything, including more panic. Perhaps it’s time for some sober critical analysis.

Referring to research by psychologists, he suggests that we are increasingly pathologising normal life and that, for example, negative emotions are often necessary for normal development – healthy.

Anyone with a borderline Marxist understanding will also recognise that this is capitalist psychiatry, driven perhaps subconsciously to grow constantly, widening the market and attracting ever greater budgets with, of course, commensurate rewards for top professionals.

As for solving the real extent of mental health problems, where is, in this so-called journalism, consideration of the possibility that just spending more is just a sticking plaster strategy, ignoring the deeper cause – inequality.

See this:

Mental Health | The Equality Trust

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in the Spirit Level, show how more unequal and of course more market-oriented societies, the is apparently a greater prevalence of mental illness.

Once more this BBC reporting is just so lightweight and superficial it might have been designed to suit the minds of those averse to change, especially constitutional change.

8 thoughts on “Reporting Scotland ‘has’ their own mental health crisis just for you based on a ‘Trawl’

  1. Mental health is closely linked to personal well being, which is an issue already identified by the First Minster, and other world leaders as a priority over GDP. Someone suffering from prolonged stress caused by personal finance problems, paying the mortgage/rent, putting food on the table, heating, clothes and shoes for the kids etc are much more likely to develop some mental health problem than someone stressing over not getting their holiday abroad or a pint at the local. The real stress of poverty within a family will undoubtedly be passed on to children. It’s not fucking rocket science.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Tis the ABC (BBC) that as far as i am concerned that poses the biggest threat to my wellbeing and State of sanity
    As i have recently brought a brick into my home,which i have strategicly placed at my feet,and for the sole purpose of picking up
    And launching squarely in the direction of my TV screen with excessive pent up force
    As i monitor their spurious blatant propaganda into my mind
    But me thinks such displays that i have more of open mind than one that is warped

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What the BBC and the rest of the media do not examine is their own role in the creation of worry and uncertainty in the minds of members of the public. They are not the only factor in this, but they are a significant one.

    Of course, they know what they are doing and it is wilful. It is part of the wider Project Fear. I think it was one of the earlier Lords Northcliffe, founder of the Daily Mail, who said that the job of his paper was to ‘give the English people their daily dose of fear.

    Since they first appeared newspapers have been used to ‘shape’ public opinion, whether it was about the French, the Germans, Irish, blacks, muslims, communists ,drugs pushers, rapists, etc. it was pushed relentlessly to bring a public response, such as to enlist for WW1 or persecute Muslims, or excoriate trade unions.

    The ‘mental health’ one is one of the tropes being exploited during the epidemic. Of course, we want the stigma to be removed from mental health and we want good services, but what we do not want is lurid headlines about ‘tsunamis of cases’ or ‘this will cause untold numbers of deaths’ or ‘this is the tip of the iceberg’ AND, of course, “Scotland is the worst in Europe for drug-related deaths”.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. People are likely to worry about all sorts of things, sometimes when there is no need to worry at all. It can then affect the health of people.

    “Researchers led by Frances Wood and Dr James Howard at Imperial College London recruited 60 patients who had been on statins, but stopped taking them owing to adverse effects. They were persuaded to resume treatment, and given four bottles containing atorvastatin, four bottles containing identical-looking placebo pills and four empty bottles, to be taken in a randomly prescribed order over the course of a year – including four months taking no pills. Each day, they recorded any side-effects on a smartphone, ranking their intensity from zero to 100.

    The researchers found 90 per cent of symptoms experienced by the patients were present when they took placebo tablets….”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is it Finland or Norway that has highest levels of happiest people, and of course it is due to being a much more equal society, with levels of healthcare and a decent social security system to cushion any blows to peoples’ livelihoods and health.
    I know what makes me depressed, it’s the constant and incessant, Scotland is ‘sh*te in the media, the gas lighting of our people, the gas lighting of our government, democratically elected by the people, and the fact that Scotland is shackled to a most right wing dangerous country next door with the Etonian cabal at the helm. Brexit, now if anything is depressing that surely is, our people just lost their freedom of movement to work, study and live in 27 neighbouring countries! My sons have NZ passports, it’s despressing to think they may need to escape the cesspit that is the UK because of Brexit. Who likes the idea of food and med shortages, anyone? You can bet that the rich and selfish especially those in government, will be free to travel and will not suffer food shortages etc. That’s affecting my mental health, the only thing that keeps me going is that we have a Scottish government who actually care and are doing what they can against MASSIVE odds to mitigate Tory/red Tory cuts to the poorest and most vulnerable. Foodnanks in 2020, it’s just as well my dad is no longer with us he would be livid, I would hate to see his reaction having been a kid during WW2 and going hungry! On top of that the ScotGov are dealing with total troughing incompetents at Westminster and with 100% MEDIA who are anti SNP, anti independence and thereby anti the Scottish people.

    It’s a well known fact that COVID19 is affecting peoples’ mental health WORLDWIDE. It is not unique to Scotland and is not the fault of the Scottish government. BritNat state run propaganda and gas lighting is hugely depressing, & to be told ‘you won’t be going anywhere Scotland lol’ is terrifying.People tend to feel very down when they feel out of control, that must be quite a few in Scotland because guess who is controlling so many aspects of our lives, the EngGov and the long term mental health damage and consequences for the people of Scotland have been a hindrance to self esteem. The media can get lost in trying to ramp up the fear and sow doubt about the government that the people of Scotland choose to govern in their own country. The fact that even that choice could even be removed, basically imprisoning Scotland in a far right wing UKOK, while dragged out of the EU by that far right wing cabal, is utterly depressing. The contempt that some over the border display towards Scotland does not help that depression one bit.
    Sorry long comment, much more I could say.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I happened upon this interview and from what I could glean from the ‘victim’ was that she had a long term eating disorder which was treated by the ( Scottish ) NHS . This case was tacked on to another interview with a psychiatrist who simply stated that more money was needed for mental Health due to problems caused by Covid – who could argue ?

    The two parts of this ‘investigation’ were not complimentary but juxtaposed to seem connected and appeared ( SURPRISE ! ) to be another dig at the Scottish Government for not allocating 150% of its resources to the latest BBC Scotland gripe .


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