Mind Over Matter: Presentation to the New Zealand Ministerial Enquiry into Mental Health
54 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2018 Last revised: 29 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 7, 2018
Mental health is arguably the most important determinant of living a fulfilling life.
Within any society, a government committed to serving the citizens and enhancing their life experience, then mental health policy is arguably one of the two most important policies it manages, the second being economic policy enhancing the wealth and financial security of citizens, itself a major driver of citizen mental health.
In books and papers at my Social Science Research Network author site, https://ssrn.com/author=2572745, I argue that the economy of a nation dedicated to individual freedom must serve people, not the other way around as it does now. It is crucial that mental health policy is not judged in isolation, but within the context of the society, and its existing primary ideologies. The social context I refer to as the social milieu.
The demand for mental health services is accelerating throughout the free world. The need for effective mental health support of citizens is given weight by the suicide statistics in New Zealand for example, with 11 people committing suicide per 100,000 citizens. NZ is an example of the free world, but the problem is endemic across the world. In China for example, the suicide rate is over 20 per 100,000 citizens. The question is ‘why?’ and what can be done about it? How can government via mental health policy enable greater citizen life fulfillment?
This paper argues that the correct science of people is dualism, not monism. That is, the mind is separate from the brain, and it is the mind that is the primary causal factor in creation of human psychic states. It follows that management of psychic states involves management of mind, not of the brain. This change in the applied science, from monism to dualism, changes all aspects of mental health policy and practice, and without this change, policy on mental health will remain confused and ineffective with constantly rising demand for increased expenditure.
The paper presents a new social science within which all human characteristics and outputs are accounted for. When applied to society, the science provides the foundation of a complete social ideology enabling a future society better than our current society.
Keywords: mental health, social ideology, new social science, role of government
JEL Classification: A12, A13, A14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation