Mental health services are “straining at the seams” to cope with the growing number of people with mental illnesses, according to a report published on Monday. As well as the immense distress caused to the millions of people with mental ill-health and their families, mental disorders cost the economy more than £100bn a year, according to calculations by the Mental Health Foundation. And unless the prevalence of mental illness falls, 2 million more adults and 100,000 more children will need treatment in 2030 compared with the figures for this year.
The report is published as Professor Dinesh Bhugra, the former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, warns in an article in Society Guardian this week that mental health units run by both the NHS and independent sector providers have begun to run out of beds.
How can we explain sexual attraction to children in India?
Work done by an American sociologist, Vern Bullough, divides cultures into ‘sex positive’ and ‘sex negative’ cultures. Sex positive cultures are those where sex is seen as a positive activity where people enjoy sex, and procreation is seen as a byproduct rather than the main function. In sex negative societies it is the other way around: sex is purely for procreation and not for pleasure. What he said was that Indian culture was sex positive for centuries, but post-Mughal and post-British rule it became much more sex negative.
This indicates that sex is not about pleasure but about control and power. Particularly for men who come from poorer backgrounds, it could be the only way to demonstrate their power, by taking control of young girls, of women and of children.
But it is also true that there are people who are almost sort of biologically attracted to younger children. Nobody has come out and said that a brain lesion is what causes it, but there is some suggestion that there are neural networks in the brain which do not function properly in such cases.
Most of us have heard the well publicised statistic that one in four people experience a mental illness at some point during their life. Even more alarming are figures which reflect that mental disorders account for 22.8% of total disease burden, compared with 15.9% for cancer and 16.2% for cardiovascular disease, (WHO 2008).
Mental illnesses are common. It is likely that you know someone who has suffered or who is currently suffering from one of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses which include depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, personality, addiction and eating disorders.
Sir, Libby Purves is right to highlight the internalised racism often seen in a large number of individuals no matter how liberal they may claim to be (“That racist voice in your head is not the Devil”, Opinion, Sept 3). This largely remains hidden due to social constraints but occasionally emerges unbeckoned.