Monday, January 4, 2016

British Government Moving To Define Unemployment As A Mental Health Disorder

From The Independent:

The DWP is trying to psychologically 'reprogramme' the unemployed, study finds
Researchers say Government policy is trying to medicalise unemployment  
Government policy has taken worrying steps towards depicting unemployment as a mental health disorder, medical researchers have warned.

A study backed by the Wellcome Trust found that people without jobs were subject to humiliating “reprogramming” by authorities designed to change their mental states.

The researchers said the new approach, which forced upon the unemployed a “requirement to demonstrate certain attitudes or attributes in order to receive benefits or other support, notably food” raised major ethical issues.

They say such moves appear to have been taken to shift attention from the rise of in-work poverty and other market failures overseen by successive governments.

“Psychology now plays a central and formative role in stigmatising the existence and behaviour of various categories of poor citizens and in legitimating the measures taken to transform and activate them,” the authors note....MORE
See Foucault's Madness and Civilization for other examples of totalitarian states using psychiatry in relation to macro-economic failures.

I'm not saying there isn't a lot of psychopathology among folks on the dole but that is a whole different set of problems.