Schizophrenia Care in England Falls “Catastrophically Short”


Saying that patients spend too long in “demoralised and dysfunctional” hospital wards, the U.K.’s Schizophrenia Commission suggests redirecting efforts to prevention and “recovery houses” in the community rather than hospital care. “If you have psychosis and your mind is disturbed, you need a period of respite and calm,” the commission’s chairman said.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. If you read the whole report…yawn…

    You will see it is very drug centric, restates the dopamine hypothesis, nothing about forced treatment or community treatment order. All critical issues for people with this label. Even has some service user comments highlighted saying how important drugs are to them…wonderful..

    This has been set up in response…

    “In December 2011 we noted the launch of a project called ‘Schizophrenia Commission’ and saw how it was set up without much discussion with service user/survivor organisations and organisations working with black and minority ethnic communities. It seemed to be dominated by a unit that researches ‘psychosis’ and structured in a narrow medical framework that accepts diagnoses as valid ways of labelling people. We felt that the time was right to launch an inquiry into the ‘schizophrenia’ label. And, when we found that such an inquiry was strongly supported by many organisations and individuals, and that many of them were actually willing to do so publicly by allowing us to include their names on our website, we decided to go ahead, raising funds for our expenses as we went along.”

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    • As noted elsewhere, we are mostly limited to research from within the established system if for no other reason than there is very little research that isn’t. But I think it’s valid to point out where the results actually fit a different interpretation than the one presented. I could make more explicit that, while noting their conclusions, I see a different possible one. In this case, I thought that the aspect I wanted to present was so apparent from the study that it was permissible to feature it. If I were to duly note every assertion I disagree with, there would be no room for what I find interesting and wish to feature. The fact that they also say something I disagree with doesn’t invalidate my interpretation.

      As noted, I anticipate lively discussion, and I try to say as little as possible past choosing the articles I find interesting. I certainly welcome suggestions, and usually run them.

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