I’ve been thinking about the recent discourse around treating mental illness in this country, and about the holistic approaches purposed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As much as psychosocial and alternative means to treatment are implicated in this document, I wonder how much attention will be given to establishing this essential part of the health care system. I worry a bit about the direction of research, and what we choose to make available based on our narrow scope of exploration. It comes down to an issue of funding, because without established evidence to attract funding, many avenues will never be explored. In psycho-pharamceuticals, for example, it is far too expensive and risky to fund anything but variations on the same drugs which have been used for decades now. Science is indeed under a bit of a stranglehold by it’s own scientific research hegemony, and by the economic systems and companies funding research. Even though one may utilize science to discover what is accurate about any chosen field of exploration, what is being chosen to explore is highly influenced by politics. What we have so far discovered to be useful in terms of treatments for mental disorder, for example, is a direct result of this influence. Although there is of course great merit in evidence-based treatments, it is always important to remember that they are only the best among the narrow scope of what we have so far chosen to study. If we always assume that all possible avenues of treatment have to be extensions of what has been studied and has gone before, we may miss out on real possibilities for innovation. If we hadn’t had the possibility of studying divergent areas in the past, where would we be now? That is why this current funding situation is of concern to me. I am a big fan of science – so much so, that I worry that the lack of support for alternative developments (including treatments outside the scope of big pharma) undermines not only science, but the future health of those who suffer from mental disorder. Any thoughts?

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