Event II: Capitalism and Mental Health

Date: 8th of November 2021
Time: 18:30 GMT
Location: online – you can register here (invidual event page) or here (event series page)

You can find pre-recorded videos of the talks here. If you want to register questions for the panel discussion, you can do so here (also in case you can’t make it but want to be part of the conversation).

What this event will be about:

What is mental ‘health’? What role do social structures play in mental distress? Are social structures and individual emotional states tied together in ways that sustain each other? What is ‘neoliberal anxiety’? This event will be framed by considering the capitalist structure that we live in and how this affects mental distress. This starting point will lead into a critique of the dominant assumption that matters of mental distress are predominantly matters of individual pathology; problems located in individuals. We will consider the place of psychiatry as an institution for dealing with mental distress. How is psychiatry implicated in the nexus of social structures and individual emotional states/ ways of being? Does it play a role in sustaining capitalism? Can we approach the healing of distress by approaching the change of social structures? How might we work towards this? We will explore these questions and critiques through short presentations from three speakers, and then a panel discussion.

We will be hearing from:

The Recovery In The Bin collective: A critical theorist and activist collective, whose work involves critiquing the notion of ‘recovery’ and how it is played out; demanding a robust ‘Social Model of Madness, Distress & Confusion’, placing mental health within the context of social justice and the wider class struggle.

Rhiannon FirthA lecturer in Sociology at UCL Institute of Education. She completed her ESRC-funded PhD at the University of Nottingham in 2010. Rhiannon’s research is at the intersection of Political Theory, Sociology and Education with a focus on the pedagogical and prefigurative practices of social movements and utopian communities. She will be presenting on neoliberal anxiety for this event.

Vesper Moore: A speaker/ educator, mad-liberation activist and psychiatric survivor. They have been advocating as a part of the psychiatric survivor and mad movement for several years and have been the recipient of many social justice and diversity awards as well as serving as the keynote speaker at several international conferences. Vesper as a mad queer indigenous person has made it their life’s mission to rewrite the narrative psychiatry has enforced on our society.

This event is organized by Sabina Wantoch.