Psychiatry in Britain: Meaning and Policy

1st Edition

Shulamit Ramon

Published September 18, 2018
Reference - 336 Pages
ISBN 9781138317215 - CAT# K391409
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Psychiatry


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Originally published in 1985, this book focuses on British psychiatric policies, particularly in the 1920s, and 1950s when the main legislation concerning mental illness was passed. It approaches policy primarily as the outcome of the relationship between politicians’ attitudes and those of professional groups in a specific social context. It examines the beliefs and theories of psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists and social workers, as well as the attitudes of government and MPs to mental illness, related services and its role in society.

It is argued that the adherence to a medical-somatic view of mental illness by psychiatrists and politicians alike has led to the exclusion of viable alternatives, despite lip service being paid to some of them. It is shown that the issues of recent decades have important messages today, particularly in view of the 1982 amendments to the Mental Health Act and the debate about community services.

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