Decolonising healthcare services one prejudice at a time: Psychological, sociological, ecological and cultural considerations
MetadataShow full metadata
This paper describes a minority and marginalised psychiatric patient named ‘Lucy’ and offers an analysis of the multiple ‘colonising’ or ‘power-over’ relations that dominate her life. Lucy’s colonisation and consequent struggle can be understood on multiple levels: psychologically, in the struggle between the discordant parts of her personal self; sociologically, in the struggle between a mainstream culture that dominates and rejects her and her almost equally insecure place in her own indigenous minority culture; and ecologically, in the planet-wide collision between the secular materialism that drives globalism and globalisation, and an indigenous holistic and psycho-spiritual orientation to nature and the cosmos. Mental health professionals can help our patients recognise and reclaim forms of wisdom and value that survive and flourish on the margins of the mainstream. Decolonisation strategies based on this understanding suggest a variety of practical ways in which Lucy and other marginalised persons might be empowered and assisted to return to health.