One in four of us will be affected by a mental health problem during our lifetimes. Everyone will have a close friend, partner or family member who has suffered or is suffering now. Yet despite its prevalence there is very little agreement over what constitutes mental illness; even less on how it should be treated. If experts cannot agree what chance the rest of us?
Mental illness has been seen as the result of moral weakness, demonic position, childhood trauma and neurophysiological imbalance. Judge asks: how do we understand these issues today and how does our personal experience and social context determine our attitudes? What is it like to experience a mental illness? Are drugs the answer?
We interviewed 16 people to unpick their perception of what mental illness is and how it should be treated; canvasing opinion from scientists, psychiatrists and laymen from all walks of life. These voices have been knitted together into a piece of sound art and woven into an installation.
This artwork has been produced by Meredith Thomas, Jade Cawthray and Rebecca Scott-Jupp as a project for their MSc in Science Communication. Please feel welcome to listen, watch and read. As you do so, think about your own experiences and how they have informed your beliefs. What assumption do you make and how are they projected on to other people.