Mental Health Ontologies: How we talk about mental health, and why it matters in the digital age
Mental health presents one of the defining public health challenges of our time. Debate and fragmentation around the nature of the entities that feature in the mental health domain divide resources and reduce progress. The way mental health is publicly discussed in the media has tangible effects, in terms of stigma, access to healthcare and resources, and private expectations of recovery. This book explores in detail the sorts of statements that are made about mental health in the media and public reporting of scientific research, grounding them in the wider context of the theoretical frameworks, assumptions and metaphors that they draw from. The author shows how a holistic understanding of the way that different aspects of mental illness are interrelated can be developed from evidence-based interpretation of the latest research findings. She offers some ideas about corrective, integrative approaches to discussing mental health-related matters publicly that may reduce the opposition between conceptualisations while still aiming to reduce stigma, shame and blame. In particular, she emphasises that discourse in the media needs to be anchored to an overview of all the research results across the field and argues that this could be achieved using new technological infrastructures.