Friday, 4 July 2008

The state of psychiatry today

So let's see. This week the new head of the NHS mental health body states that he would hate to have to put one of his relatives into an NHS psychiatric unit because they are so disgusting. Nice one. Does that mean that he will recommend that a bit of extra cash should be forthcoming to make these units more tasteful? Or that they will be cleaned? Or that, as was in the case of Zach when he was banged into the holding cell of a well-known hospital, without excreta creating patterns on the filthy walls?

Then there's the case of the psychotic woman in a Brooklyn hospital who died in front of witnesses too imured to insanity and too indolent to do anything to help her. So nothing really changes, does it?

At my book launch last night I read from 'Don't Wait for Me' of the fear that mental illness creates in those whose friends or family are suffering and how the mentally ill are treated: with contempt, with ignorance and generally shunned. I 'm very despondent really as to how anything will ever move on.

In any event it was a good evening. I think that about ninety people attended and Waterstone's ran out of books! People were going home empty handed. I only hope that they go to their local bookstores today and buy their copies. Waterstone's will be getting in more stock by next Tuesday. It will be interesting to see how sales go. Be nice to hear from people who bought the book too - what they think of it and whether they it thought-provoking.

No comments: