Two stories in June's Therapy Today caught my eye. One was a news item which quoted the World Health Organisation as saying that neurological and mental disorders are the leading cause of ill health and disability globally. Voluntary organisations apparently find it hard to raise money for mental health projects because pictures of people suffering from mental distress don't tug at our heart strings enough.
At the end of the piece there was the statistic that half of all countries in the world have one psychiatrist per 100,000 people. And I wondered if this was really a worrying figure. Many societies outside of the West have very different attitudes to mental well-being to ours, and I have read the suggestion that some are more enlightened, more tolerant, more empowering. Perhaps, just possibly, psychiatrists and Western style mental health "solutions" are not the answer everywhere.
The second article was right the other end of the journal giving the results of a BACP professional conduct hearing. A complaint about a practitioner had been made because he had commented on a social networking site about a client in such a way that the young person could be identified. There seemed no doubt that in this case the therapist had been foolish and broken his duty for confidentiality. It did make me sharply draw in my breath, however. I am exceptionally careful about, and sensitive to, confidentiality, even so, would one day a client's identity seep into something I was writing and leave me quite rightly vulnerable to a complaint?