From the Mental Patient to the Person

From the Mental Patient to the Person

From the Mental Patient to the Person

From the Mental Patient to the Person

Synopsis

The aim of contemporary mental health policy is to enable people who have had a severe mental illness to lead relatively independent lives in the community, rather than be sequestered permanently in the large mental hospitals. In recent years plans to hasten the closure of many of these hospitals have become controversial and generated sharp debate about community care. From the Mental Patient to the Personcontributes to this debate through an exploration of the experiences of a group of people with a history of schizophrenic illness, who are living in the community.

Excerpt

Chronic illness doesn’t have to mean chronic patienthood.

(Mental health worker, Fountain House, New York)

What do you think schizophrenia means to other people?

To them it means split personality, evil and being like the Ripper or something.

They’ve got it all wrong in some ways, haven’t they?

Yes, they have.

How do you think we could change people’s views?

Well, why do you think I’m doing this for you right now? If you can get a book to them, maybe they might read it.

(Harold) . . .

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