The Insanity of Mental Health Policy

At a rough estimate, each of our residents had cost the tax payer about one million pounds in a twenty-five year psychiatric career, based on the cost of psychiatric hospital renovations, lease and maintenance programmes, staff salaries, medication, transport, day to day sustenance, and welfare benefits. Given that these patients were now disengaged from any serious work based activity, and that they rarely moved out of the system, I could only conclude that our unit was probably one of the most unproductive social organisations ever seen in peacetime……


4 Responses to “The Insanity of Mental Health Policy”

  1. Eva Freeman Says:

    It’s about the same in the United States. The same patients come in and out of my unit repeatedly. I actually find myself looking forward to some of the readmission, almost like a chance catch up with an old friend. But of course the cost of constant rehospitalizations, or or extended hospitalization, is mind-boggling. Still, we need to remember that these individuals didn’t ask for their illness. Just because you can’t see it on an x-ray doesn’t mean it’s not a true disease. I just hope we soon see some medications that aren’t so unpleasant that patients can’t stay on them.

    A narcotics addict I worked with told me that no one needs to reminded when to take a drug that makes them feel good. The problem with psych meds is that they work but don’t make people feel good.

  2. Hi Eva,
    Thanks very much for your comments. I remember one or two U.S. academics telling me that the ‘recovery model’ approach was now well established in U.S. mental health care – but all the feedback from U.S. nurses seems to contradict this. The theory-practice divide lives on….

  3. Seeing that we already happen to be discussing points regarding The Insanity of Mental Health Policy A Psychiatric Nurse's Blog, Psychosocial refers to one’s psychological development in and interaction with a social environment. The individual is not necessarily fully aware of this relationship with his or her environment.

  4. Hi there,
    Yes, that’s true.
    Mental health policy should make sure individuals are aware of their social environment. This includes their responsibilities as well as their rights and the nature of society as well as their personal therapy. It means work as well as leasure, contribution as well as receipt, and a concern for others as well as self. Powerful, consistant socialisation is better than any ‘treatment’…..
    Thanks very much for your comment,

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