The Fortress of Mental Health Services

From Mad in the UK: This is a reflection on my contact with mental health services in the UK, as both a mental health nurse and patient. I compare mental health services to a fortress, a strong protected building designed to defend itself and keep others out. Patients and even other professionals are subject to various defence and attack mechanisms aimed to prevent access to services. Many of these are integral to the design and fabric of the structure of mental health care, rather than due to individuals working for the service. As professionals within the system become more aware of these exclusion tactics they can start to question and reflect on their own practice and the culture of the wider health care system. The long-term hope is that fewer people will be unnecessarily excluded from desperately-needed mental health care.

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