Institute of Psychiatry feeds
Summary: Audio feeds from the Institute of Psychiatry. Public lectures, debates, conferences on mental health, neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology
The 10th Maudsley Debate was held on Thursday July 5th on the topic of mental health law reform. A lively audience of service users, psychiatrists, and health care professionals including the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists attended the debate, which was chaired by Professor Tom Fahy. Before hearing the arguments of the speakers only 2% of the audience supported the motion and the implementation of the Government White Paper on Mental Health with 61% opposed and a substantial 37% undecided. Professor Tony Maden of Imperial College opened the debate arguing for the motion. He put forward that the Mental Health White Paper ensured that difficult patients received treatment rather than punishment, and that the governments interest in public protection was valid. Paul Bowen, a barrister of Doughty St Chambers, opposed this, pointing out that the White Paper severely constrained liberty, expanded the class of people subject to coercion, and breached the Human Rights Act. Next Dr Chris Burford, a consultant at St Anns Hospital, Tottenham, supported Professor Maden and the motion. He spoke of changes in psychiatry and the difficulties of revolving door admissions; he suggested that the White Paper provided a framework for treating vulnerable people who otherwise missed or evaded treatment. Finally, Dr Andrew Johns a consultant of forensic psychiatry at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, concluded by noting that the White Paper coerced both patients and psychiatrists. He rounded up the debate by reiterating the estimation that 5000 patients would require detention in order to prevent a single homicide by a person with a mental disorder. After comments and questions from the floor the audience was able to vote on the motion again. It turned out that still only 1.5% supported the implementation of the White Paper. However the number of those opposed had increased to 90%. The speakers opposing the motion had evidently convinced the majority of those undecided before the debate, whose number dropped to a mere 8.5%.
The media is being used as a convenient scapegoat for the development of eating disorders. This is the view of Professor Kenneth Nunn from Sydney University, Australia who will be speaking at the ninth in a series of debates on topical issues in psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. He will argue that evidence suggests that the onset of an eating disorder has little to do with the media and everything to do with individual biological and psychological vulnerabilities. Vehemently opposing this view will be Melanie Katzman, Consultant Psychologist from the US and the author of many books on eating disorders. She will explain that meta analysis of studies due out this spring reveals that the media is the medium for spreading the social contagents that cause eating disorders. She will also highlight data from Fiji which demonstrates that after the introduction of television, eating disorders emerged. Eating disorders currently affect around 1.1 million people in the UK. The widely held image of these disorders as slimming diseases belies the seriousness of the conditions: anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric disorder, with around 1 in 5 sufferers dying within 20 years of the onset of illness. Also speaking at the debate are W. Bose, Spokesperson for Premier Model Agency Management and Nicky Bryant, Chief Executive of the Eating Disorders Association. W. Bose will argue that through the use of imagery and the written word, the media can be held accountable for a persistent focus on weight, shape and dieting; negative stereotypes of women and a focus upon image instead of capabilities. This, he says, has served to undermine the self-esteem of generations of women. Nicky Bryant, however, will argue that we are only fashion victims if we allow the fashion industry to dictate thin as the aspirational body shape and size. Chairing the debate is Janet Treasure, Professor of General Psychiatry, Guys Hospital & Director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trusts Eating Disorders Unit.
8th Maudsely Debate Minor Ailments? This House Believes That Psychiatrists Over-Medicate The Exuberance Of Youth
7th Maudsley Debate This house believes that psychiatric institutions are irretrievably racist
6th Maudsley Debate The Brain: the final frontier? This house believes that studying the brain tells us little about the mind 11 October 2000 6pm
5th Maudsley Debate Keep taking the tabloids: is the media bad for mental health? 27 June 2000 6pm
4th Maudsley Debate What should we do with psychopaths? 3 May 2000 6pm
3rd Maudsley Debate Does counselling screw you up? This house believes that there should be no more counselling until it is proved to be safe and effective.