It seems that substantial changes are taking place in the mental illness services. ‘Community care’ has been a rallying cry for several decades. Large mental hospitals decrease in size and some close. Community psychiatric nursing develops as a profession. District General Hospital psychiatric units open in large numbers. Hostels and day centres open in many towns. The professional literature buzzes with terms like ‘empowerment’ and ‘advocacy’. Long-neglected psychiatric patients have suddenly been magicked into service consumers, presumably active participants in service development. It seems that mental illness services are shaken by major changes at every level.


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© David Brandon 1991

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