Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

The Mental Hospital in the 21st Century // Review

Academic journal article Canadian Psychology

The Mental Hospital in the 21st Century // Review

Article excerpt

On the eve of the 21st century, the present topic is certainly warranted. The authors not only review past endeavors in the delivery of mental health services but speculate as to the role the mental hospital may take in the years to come. Perhaps a risky undertaking, nevertheless, it is a task that is important in our times of changing economic, political, and social policies. The starting point for this book is a conference entitled "The Role of the Mental Hospital in the 21st Century" sponsored by the London Psychiatric Hospital in October 1990. The book features 20 brief chapters regrouped in three sections. In all, 29 contributors mainly from Canada, bring forth varying perspectives on the role of the mental hospital. The first section includes six chapters under the heading of "The Mental Hospital: The Past, the Present, and the Future". In this section, the deinstitutionalization process in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States is reviewed. In addition, topics such as the specific roles and functions of provincial psychiatric hospitals and general hospitals are addressed. The implications for the interface of these systems are also examined.

The second section includes nine chapters under the heading of "The Mental Hospital: Treatment, Practice, and Efficacy". In this section, a variety of themes are examined. For instance, a number of chapters deal with issues surrounding specific target groups such as treatment resistant schizophrenic patients, aggressive patients, mentally retarded patients and psychogeriatric patients. Two chapters examine the role of the mental hospital in psychosocial rehabilitation and working with families of long - term patients. In addition, two chapters feature updates on the use of brain imaging in psychiatric disorders and medication for schizophrenics.

The third section presents five chapters under the heading of "Administrative, Educational, and Research Issues". The role of the mental hospital as an education and research resource is reviewed, as well as the efficacy of hospital treatment and administrative trends. The final chapter is undoubtedly a key chapter in this book, since the contributor puts into context, in a forthright manner, the future role of the mental hospital. …

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