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Shunned: Discrimination against People with Mental Illness

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Exploring the personal nature of psychiatric illness, this book examines both professional and lay perceptions of mental health disorders, often using powerful personal accounts from individuals living with and through the experience.
Purpose: In an effort to educate the community about the discrimination individuals with mental illness face, the author shares both enlightening research from many "cultured" societies and personal experience from over 20 years treating psychiatric illness in the United Kingdom.
Audience: While educational and illuminating for anyone who has a relative or friend suffering from a mental health disorder, this book is remarkably revealing about the professions treating these individuals, and is invaluable for those in the mental health community, including social workers, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and case managers.
Features: This author addresses issues confronted by those with psychiatric diagnoses on a daily basis. Some of these include relationships with family, spouses, children, and friends, interactions with the healthcare system and social supports, experiences in the workplace, and media coverage of mental illness, to name a few. Each chapter is extensively referenced, and the author has included his suggestions for reducing the discrimination faced by individuals with psychiatric illnesses.
Assessment: Those treating individuals with mental illnesses should not be surprised by the suggestion that these people routinely suffer discrimination and alienation based on their diagnoses. Yet, when personalized and illustrated to reveal the human aspect of their struggles, the practices become more real and disturbing to the reader. What is even more troubling is research suggesting mental health professionals, those supposedly working for and with these individuals, share many of the same perceptions and attitudes as those who are not as educated about the conditions. Anyone treating people with psychiatric conditions should read this book to provide a greater understanding of the challenges those with mental illness face day after day.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198570981
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/24/2006
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Thornicroft is Professor of Community Psychiatry, and Head of the multi-disciplinary Health Service Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist and is Director of Research and Development at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He chaired the External Reference Group for the National Service Framework for Mental Health in England. His areas of research expertise include: stigma and discrimination, mental health needs assessment, the development of outcome scales, cost-effectiveness evaluation of mental health treatments, and service user and consumer participation in mental health research. He is the author of 19 books and over 160 scientific papers.

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Table of Contents


1. Close to home: family, housing and neighbours

2. Getting personal: friendships, intimate relationships and childcare

3. It's not working: discrimination and employment

4. By a process of exclusion: discrimination in civil and social life

5. Harmful helpers: discrimination in health and social care

6. Profiting from prejudice: mental illness in the media

7. Danger or disinformation: the facts about violence and mental illness

8. 'Why try?' Self-stigmatisation, avoidance and withdrawal

9. From stigma to ignorance, prejudice and discrimination

10. What works to reduce discrimination? Challenges for service users

11. What works to reduce discrimination? Challenges for everyone

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