Description: This book goes beyond deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients to describe a systematic approach at the hospital, community, and individual level for better addressing the needs of persons with different levels of illness. Its broad international perspective offers hope beyond the limited experience of the United States. It is packed with research that is both epidemiological and based on the evidence.
Purpose: While acknowledging the varied financial and personnel resources in different countries, the authors aim to assist in planning for the availability and quality of mental healthcare. Evidence-based interventions as well as experience form important components for change. The shift to community and individual care involves engaging many partners, including consumers, in planning places and styles of interventions.
Audience: The book is directed to practitioners, service users, family members of users, health professionals, and students of mental healthcare, all of whom play a role in developing better ways of providing for the needs of those with mental illness. It is accessible to different levels of educational backgrounds while maintaining a solid academic base.
Features: The book addresses three issues in providing care for persons with mental health needs: ethics, evidence-based practice, and experience of persons adapting healthcare models to a community base. The authors incorporate research and information gathered over the past 20 to 30 years from their own countries, Italy and England, as well as comments collected from other developed and developing countries.
Assessment: Clear lists, charts, and graphs make this book quite practical. It foresees problems like finances as well as neighborhood and staff resistance towards new models of delivering services and addresses these issues directly. My only disappointment is the failure to include some innovative programs from the United States. It is a timely book in light of the current efforts for healthcare reform in the United States.