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Sick Normality? De-medicalising Mental Distress -1st CICSI Summer School 6-7th July 2023 Wivenhoe House Hotel

Updated: Mar 16

The 1st CICSI Residential Summer School took place from 6-7th July 2023.

In the beautiful setting of the Wivenhoe House Hotel we explored prescription epidemic in industrialised countries. Is it becoming the statistical norm to be diagnosed with at least one “mental disorder” in our lifetime?

When it has become normal that so many are in mental distress, has our normality become sick? Are there alternative ways forward except for medicalising more and more people?

There is mounting evidence that despite huge sums invested in psychiatric research and clinical practice, psychiatry's diagnostic paradigm remains problematic, and its associated practices produce more harm than good.


The participants of the 1st CICSI Summer School gained critical understanding of the current diagnostic paradigm and the associated practices in the mental health system and their socio-political context.  They learned about frameworks for de-medicalising mental distress and shifting focus on addressing some of the underlying social ills.  It was discussed how this could inform and reform existing practices through case studies or their own examples.

How can we address the driving factors behind the distress?

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