Communicative Self-Harm: War, NHS and Social Work

  • Chris Millard
Open Access
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


In 1944, Henderson’s and Gillespie’s Textbook of Psychiatry notes the ‘remarkable progress that has occurred in psychiatry in recent years in the teeth of war conditions, and even, to a limited extent, because of them’.1 The Second World War nurtures and catalyses a large number of reforms and innovations in the thought and practice of British psychiatry. Attending to the psychological casualties of the Second World War generates a huge number of interpersonally focused psychotherapeutic practices. The psychological significance of personal relationships, of adjustment to situations, of communication and social interaction become central to the linked aims of maintaining military and civilian morale on one hand, and returning psychological casualties to service as soon as possible on the other. The link between the social setting and psychological well-being is not generated by the war. However, the war does give an enormous boost to conceptions of what becomes known as the ‘psychosocial’.


Attempted Suicide National Health Service General Medicine Mental Hospital Mental Hygiene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Chris Millard 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Millard
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen MaryUniversity of LondonUK

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