The mentally ill are still neglected and stigmatised – just as I found they were 10 years ago – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent
Ten years ago I spent six months touring the country observing the care provided to people with mental illness for a book I was writing. Pure Madness, published in 2003, described a system “driven by fear”, in which risk reduction and protection of the public was the priority, rather than the care of patients. The public and political focus on the tiny numbers who posed a risk had distracted attention from the “huge majority of frightened, disturbed people whose suffering remains largely hidden”, I wrote.
When I was asked to join the Schizophrenia Commission last year I was delighted to have the chance to look again at the mental health service a decade on from my earlier investigation. What I found was profoundly disheartening.
Despite billions of pounds of extra investment in the NHS, which had brought many improvements in resources, staffing and buildings, the plight of the patients and their carers seemed, depressingly, unchanged.