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Destigmatising mental illness?

Professional politics and public education in Britain, 1870–1970

By Vicky Long

Destigmatising mental illness?

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8581-9
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: July 2014
  • BIC Category: History, MEDICAL / History, Medicine / History of medicine, History of medicine
  • Series: Disability History

Description

This historical study of mental healthcare workers' efforts to educate the public challenges the supposition that public prejudice generates the stigma of mental illness. Drawing on extensive archival research, this book argues that psychiatrists, nurses and social workers generated representations of mental illness which reflected their professional aspirations, economic motivations and perceptions of the public. Sharing in the stigma of their patients, healthcare workers sought to enhance the prestige of their professions by focussing upon the ability of psychiatry to effectively treat acute cases of mental disturbance. As a consequence, healthcare workers inadvertently reinforced the stigma attached to serious and enduring mental distress. This book makes a major contribution to the history of mental healthcare, and critiques current campaigns which seek to end mental health discrimination for failing to address the political, economic and social factors which fuel discrimination. It will appeal to academics, students, healthcare practitioners and service users.

Reviews

'It provides some unique perspectives that, if embraced by mental health professionals and campaigners today, could significantly improve the chance of destigmatizing the image of individuals with severe and long-term mental ill health.'
Verusca Calabria, Nottingham Trent University, H-Disability

'The strength of the book is the presentation of the plurality of discourses generated by different groups, both from within and outside the field of mental healthcare. It provides some unique perspectives that, if embraced by mental health professionals and campaigners today, could significantly improve the chance of destigmatizing the image of individuals with severe and long-term mental ill health.'
Verusca Calabria, Nottingham Trent University, H-Disability, May 2017

Author

Vicky Long is Senior Lecturer in the History of Health and Healthcare at Glasgow Caledonian University

Contents

Introduction
1. Psychiatrists and their patients: mirrored narratives of sanity and madness
2. Insecure professionals and the public
3. Challenging the stigma of mental illness through new therapeutic approaches
4. Mad, bad and dangerous to know? Men, women and mental illness
5. 'The personal touch': voluntarism, the public and mental illness
6. 'The public must be wooed and enticed with entertainment and buns': healthcare professionals and the BBC
Conclusion
Brief timeline
Bibliography
Index

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