Developing a National Mental Health Policy

By Rachel Jenkins, Andrew McCulloch, Lynne Friedli and Camilla
Psychology Press
ISBN 1 84169 295 6

This excellent book should provide invaluable help to anyone
involved in designing a mental health social policy. It is written
with a strong international perspective by experienced
practitioners. It targets those interested in influencing policy,
politicians and officials.

With such a varied audience the book needs to be well structured
and easy to follow. It achieves this with detailed chapter
outlines, a glossary and even a guide on how to use the book.

The emphasis is on strategic policy development and chapters
cover legislation, information systems, mental health promotion,
primary care, inter-agency working and other key areas. Some
chapters are short and dense but still readable.

The emphasis is on human rights, a helpful critical theme. Human
rights issues are pertinent in the current climate and it was
helpful to look at various treaties and declarations from around
the world. An extensive bibliography points the reader to other
valuable sources.

A stimulating book, which holds up a mirror to current practice.
It meets its aim to provide a guide to those developing social

Robert Brown is head of approved social work training
programmes in south London and south-west England and a Mental
Health Act commissioner.

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