Too often, our mental health systems are more oriented toward “drug and keep out of trouble” than they are toward recovery (even when they say they are about recovery!)
It could be different. In Lane County Oregon, activists, especially consumers, have organized to propose guidelines directing the mental health system to practice with recovery in mind from the beginning. This would mean professionals would have to avoid presenting biological speculations which are likely to make a consumer feel they have a difference which is beyond their control (such as, “you have an illness of the brain” or “you have a biochemilcal imbalance.”) Medications would be seen as only one tool among many, accurate information about benefits and risks would be available, and help would be available in getting off medications as well as getting onto them. The consumer voice and consumer choice would be considered at each level of mental health treatment, to reduce trauma and increase the chances that treatment offered would match individual needs.
You can take a look at the guidelines we have drafted, at lane-guidelines-revised If you like these guidelines, feel free to modify them and propose them to your local mental health system!