Returning Mental Health Issues to the Realm of Culture and Community— Odd Volden


Within Norway, as in many countries, there is a long history of people who have experienced mental health difficulties taking action to try to change the ways in which mental health struggles are understood and responded to. In this paper, Odd Volden traces the history of such actions within Norway. He also invites the reader to reconceptualise mental health crises as cultural experiences, to move mental health issues back into the realm of culture and community and, in doing so, to strengthen some of the valued traditions of our respective cultures. This paper was crafted from an interview1 and was delivered as a keynote address at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, which was held at Agder University College in Kristiansand, Norway, June 2007.