Too many people with mental health problems get better in spite of mental health hospitals rather than because of them, according to a new book by mental health experts at the University of Birmingham.
“Mental Health Policy and Practice” by Dr Jon Glasby and Dr Helen Lester – a social worker and a GP – looks at the history, current state and wider context of Britain’s mental health services and paints a picture of a mental health system that still often fails to meet the needs of patients and their carers. The book also highlights a number of failings such as support and funding for community care.
Glasby believes that problems facing mental health services in the UK have not changed resulting in a lack of improvement in the quality of care provided. He also suggests that public perceptions of mental illnesses stop patients from helping themselves.
“There is still a stigma attached to mental health problems, which affects patient care. Negative public attitudes mean many patients are excluded from making decisions about their own treatment.”
Lester insists that the book is not just about pointing out the failings of the current systems adding: “Although there are significant failings in the system, it isn’t a wholly negative picture. We also highlight examples of excellent practice and initiatives to involve patients in a meaningful way in their care.”