What will the “mental health” system of the future look like?

We believe people want a society where oppression and mistreatment are ended, where people cooperate in mutually beneficial projects, and where all resources are used in sustainable ways. In such a society a “mental health” system would be unnecessary. Everyone would be a part of a caring, supportive network. Children would be allowed to discharge hurts as they occurred so that deep hurts did not accumulate to ruin people’s lives.

Before we get to that cooperative society, the “mental health” system can change to a more supportive one, where psychiatric drugs, electroshock, seclusion, restraint, and other harsh mistreatments are eliminated. Listening and discharge can become the basic treatment provided by the system. Clients and “mental health” workers can collaborate to run the system, which can include social change networks to help people solve individual and group problems. “Mental health” workers can be well treated, receive counseling themselves, and no longer be overworked, so they can have more attention for their clients. Instead of the “mental health” institutions as we know them, the system can provide places for people to relax and be cared for thoughtfully while they reclaim their power and intelligence. Many people can be trained to assist with that process.