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From The CriticsReviewer: Aaron Plattner, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: With the understanding of the global problem of inadequate psychiatric care for individuals suffering from mental illnesses, this book uses current research findings to illustrate the problem, how it is being addressed in various countries, and what future changes are necessary.
Purpose: The authors strive to educate readers about the various community mental health programs around the globe to address the pressing issue of a lack of psychiatric care. By examining different programs, the authors are able to identify areas that are successful and areas that need improvement to better serve the mentally ill, as well as provide a foundation for future care. This is an important but complicated issue, and the authors strive to meet their objective with the most current data available.
Audience: The authors describe the book as "an invaluable resource for all mental health professionals and for all policy makers, consumers and family members involved in mental health service improvement...[and is] recommended to trainees in psychiatry." This is a broad audience, and anyone who reads the book will be educated on this issue, but the practical value of this book likely will be for those who are involved in administrative roles in a community mental health program.
Features: The book begins by illustrating the need for more psychiatric care in various world regions, then summarizing the differences in how community health care is provided, illustrating the different barriers to providing adequate psychiatric care, and ending with recommendations for the future. Each chapter contains graphics to help illustrate the data, lists key points at the end, and concludes with references. The book also includes a helpful index and concludes with three appendixes including terminologies and Internet resources.
Assessment: After reading this book, I realized how little I knew about the presence (or lack thereof) of psychiatry services outside of the U.S. It is well written by a very diverse group of authors from around the world, but I question the utility of this book for healthcare providers who are not involved in community mental health at a clinical or administrative level.