"The Medicalization of Mental Illness in Canada" by Jessica Rapson published in U of T's Undergraduate Sociology Journal

January 15, 2019 by Kate Paik

Jessica Rapson published "The Medicalization of Mental Illness in Canada"in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ). Her work examines Marxist conflict theory to understand how mental illness is medicalized through the marketization of health care in Canada. Specifically, the article focuses on how pharmaceutical companies affect mental illness treatments and exacerbate existing mental health inequalities. In her analysis, Jessica examines how expanding definitions of mental illness result in increased pharmacological treatment, while their social and psychological causes are neglected (Beck 2005:799-800). Ultimately, she suggests that the medicalization of mental illness can be resolved by regulating the influence of pharmaceutical companies and expanding Medicare to cover socio-psychological treatments.

Jessica is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Due to her interest in public policy, she has studied psychology, sociology, and philosophy to understand society at a micro, macro and meta level. She is particularly interested in evidence-based policy and applying statistics and technology to social sciences, as well as informing solutions to contemporary policy issues. Her favourite sociology course has been SOC212: Crime and Deviance, because understanding how and why crimes are committed helps to produce policies that effectively address crime. Going forward, Jessica plans to pursue a career in public policy, with a focus in applications of technology to solve policy issues.