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This is Madness: A critical look at psychiatry and the future of mental health services

This is Madness: A critical look at psychiatry and the future of mental health services

Craig Newnes
Guy Holmes
Cailzie Dunn

ISBN 978 1 898059 25 7 (1999)

Cover Price £18.00

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A comprehensive critique of the contemporary British psychiatric system, This is Madness is a breath of fresh air. In turn critical, strident, scholarly, personal, moving and ultimately hopeful, it brings together the views of professionals and users. It is an attempt to develop a more effective, respectful and humane mental health system.

This is Madness examines the past, present and possible future of the British mental health system. In this volume, users of services, professionals and academics come together to explore the roles and practices of the mental health service, its place within society and the experiences of those in the system. In eighteen chapters the authors discuss the history of psychiatry, the validity of diagnostic systems and the value of traditional medical and alternative approaches to emotional distress and crisis. Recent changes in mental health legislation and their likely impact on the future shape of mental health services are presented in a way accessible to lay readers, students and mental health practitioners alike. This book will be an invaluable resource for all those involved with, or training for a career in mental health services.

Part One: Psychiatry in context
Histories of psychiatry Craig Newnes
Social inequalities and mental health Jennie Williams
Racism and mental health Nimisha Patel and Iyabo A. Fatimilehin

Part Two: What psychiatry does
Diagnosis Mary Boyle
Drugs David Crepaz-Keay
ECT: The facts psychiatry declines to mention Katy Arscott
Do families cause 'schizophrenia'? Revisiting a taboo subject Lucy Johnstone
Psychiatric hospitals and patients' councils Marese Hudson

Part Three: Alternatives and alliances
Hearing voices and the politics of oppression Ron Coleman
Collaborative conversation Peter Hulme
User involvement in mental health service development David Pilgrim and Lesley Hitchman
The service user/survivor movement Peter Campbell
Survivor controlled alternatives to psychiatric services Vivien Lindow

Part Four: Beyond psychiatry
The duty of community care: The Wokingham MIND crisis house Pam Jenkinson
Promoting community resources Janet Bostock, Valerie Noble and Rachel Winter
The role of education in the lives of people with mental health difficulties Tracey Austin
Green approaches to occupational and income needs in preventing chronic dependency Brian Davey
The future of mental health services Craig Newnes and Guy Holmes

Enthusiastically received and widely acclaimed by reviewers in many journals, here are several:

'Remains the seminal text for critical psychology and psychiatry.' Professor Mark Rapley (1962 - 2012)

This collection of critical essays on psychiatry is almost a who's who of the new anti-psychiatry movement. Jan Wallcraft, Openmind, 100, Nov/Dec 1999.

The editors of This is Madness have achieved a rare blend for a book comprising different and disparate authors . . . Where the book really hits the target is in its highly successful attempt to merge user views with the opinions and views of mental health professionals . . . I will be recommending it to my students in 1999. Steve Baldwin, Changes, Vol. 17, No. 3, Autumn 1999.

This is Madness is clearly written and avoids jargon; it will be accessible to a wide variety of readers within and without the mental health system. It will be especially useful to persons involved in efforts to reform community mental health systems and to those developing psychosocial supports and services as an alternative to biomedical, coercive treatment and "care". This is Madness would also make an excellent reader for students at all levels in courses concerned with community mental health, combining critique of the psychiatric system on many levels with concrete exploration of the kinds of meaningful alternatives which can hope to be empowering and supportive of recovery in more than name. Michael Mc Cubbin PhD, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, University of Regina, Canada, in Ethical Human Sciences and Services, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2001.

Craig Newnes

Craig Newnes

Craig Newnes is editor of The Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy (formerly Changes), and a commissioning editor and author for our Critical Psychology series. Prior to his retirement he was Director of Psychological Therapies for Shropshire. He has a life time commitment to the NHS and is an outspoken critic of the hypocrisy, self interest, confusion and downright lies which characterise so much of the practise of psychiatry and psychology. He believes that unhappiness is a form of heresy and most of the misery for which people seek help is only amenable to alleviation through changes in their material lives.

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Guy Holmes

Guy Holmes

Guy Holmes worked in the NHS as a clinical psychologist in Shropshire. He published over 50 academic articles in areas as diverse as: the medicalisation of distress, psychiatric medication, patients' councils, service users' experiences of and views on mental health services, sexual abuse of males, community psychology, and various aspects of groupwork. His community-based groupwork was profiled on Radio 4’s All in the Mind — see www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sv5bk. You can visit the Psychology in the Real World website at www.psychologyintherealworld.co.uk

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Cailzie Dunn

Cailzie Dunn

Cailzie Dunn is a clinical psychologist working for South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust. She works with adults involved with the Community Mental Health Team in Shrewsbury.
She co-ran Alternatives to Psychiatry courses in Shropshire and was a co-editor of This is Madness: A critical look at psychiatry and the future of mental health services (PCCS Books) and This is Madness Too: Critical perspectives on mental health services (PCCS Books). She is particularly interested in helping people with the effects of complex trauma.

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