Within low-income communities, use of antidepressant medication is relatively high, but current strategies tend to frame mental distress as an individual psychological problem, rather than addressing the factors that are often the root causes of suffering.
Now a PenCLAHRC supported project, DE-STRESS, sets out to research how welfare reforms and austerity affect the treatment of mental health in low income communities. The team’s research will help to inform a stated government aim to reduce health inequalities amongst vulnerable groups by examining the connections between mental health, housing, employment and the criminal justice system.
Hear Dr Felicity Thomas and Professor Richard Byng of the DE-STRESS project talking about the medicalisation of poverty and deprivation in the South West on Radio 4s PM programme (from 38:37) here and read the study Poverty, pathology and pills: moral narratives and the medicalisation of distress here.
Visit the DE-STRESS website to learn more.