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Book Review Mental Health Global Policies and Human Rights

Book Review Mental Health Global Policies and Human Rights Book review Mental Health: Global Policies and Human Rights Peter Morrall and Mike Hazelton (Eds) London: Whurr Publishers, 2004 particularly Okasha’s and Murthy’s useful and sometimes humbling descriptions of policy and his book shows how far we have come services in Egypt and India respectively. The editors and how far we still have to go at a variety of different are to be congratulated on obtaining two of the most levels. It is a good example of how far editing and distinguished psychiatrists in developing countries to publishing standards have deteriorated over the last 20 share their thoughts (pace what I have already said). In or 30 years. It does not address the issues it purports to addition, parts of the chapters on the US, Brazil and address on the back cover, at least to any great extent. particularly Mozambique (by Valentini) provide The blurb states that: ‘This book reviews mental fascinating insights. health policies across the world and their relationship Other chapters are not as good, some because the to the human rights of mentally disordered people.’ It English is poorer. The chapter on China reads as largely fails to do so. value-laden and way off target, although it highlights a Instead, the book consists of accounts of the shocking abuse of human rights. development of mental health policy in various I have to say that despite reservations this is a countries with only sideways glances at human rights. worthwhile and thought-provoking read. I was struck It neglects both the service user and legal, political by the fundamental similarity of many of the issues and administrative perspectives that are fundamental faced across the world: de-institutionalisation, stigma, to understanding human rights and mental health. It is the failure of the so-called medical model, care versus extraordinary in this day and age that a book of this control, the influence of local healers and belief type could be published with essays exclusively systems, resources, and making the rhetoric of rights written by mental health professionals. The book is and social inclusion a reality. basically naive in both human rights and policy terms. Specifically, it is clear that no country, not even A second, less important deficit is the Italy where despite all achievements my own unsatisfactory editing and proof-reading. There are observations show that a strong medical and factual errors: for example, I imagine Cliff Prior would institutional bias remains (even in Trieste), has be astonished to learn that Professor Sir David achieved a modern mental health service that Goldberg has got his job (p11). There is also explicitly recognises the failures of the Victorian inadequate editing of the sometimes poor English of institutions and of twentieth century medicine. It is often very good contributions by authors whose first axiomatic that the new mental health service is about language is presumably not English. enabling social inclusion. It is time to work that out in Turning quickly to the merits of the book, it practice. Some of these essays hint at the way forward provides a useful tour of international mental health but we await the book which sets mental health policy policy in England (not the UK as stated; the Mental four-square within a human rights context and Health Act 1983, for example, does not apply to recognises the very limited contribution of medicine Scotland, a fact acknowledged but not pursued in the to improving the lives of people with mental health text), the United States, Australia, Italy, Egypt, India, problems. Brazil, Russia and Mozambique. There is also an essay on the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Dr Andrew McCulloch China but no description of the Chinese mental health Chief Executive policy – again a possible editorial issue. The Mental Health Foundation For me the book contains a number of highlights, 42 The Mental Health Review Volume 9 Issue 3 September 2004 © Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) 2004 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health Review Journal Emerald Publishing

Book Review Mental Health Global Policies and Human Rights

Mental Health Review Journal , Volume 9 (3): 1 – Sep 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1361-9322
DOI
10.1108/13619322200400032
Publisher site
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Abstract

Book review Mental Health: Global Policies and Human Rights Peter Morrall and Mike Hazelton (Eds) London: Whurr Publishers, 2004 particularly Okasha’s and Murthy’s useful and sometimes humbling descriptions of policy and his book shows how far we have come services in Egypt and India respectively. The editors and how far we still have to go at a variety of different are to be congratulated on obtaining two of the most levels. It is a good example of how far editing and distinguished psychiatrists in developing countries to publishing standards have deteriorated over the last 20 share their thoughts (pace what I have already said). In or 30 years. It does not address the issues it purports to addition, parts of the chapters on the US, Brazil and address on the back cover, at least to any great extent. particularly Mozambique (by Valentini) provide The blurb states that: ‘This book reviews mental fascinating insights. health policies across the world and their relationship Other chapters are not as good, some because the to the human rights of mentally disordered people.’ It English is poorer. The chapter on China reads as largely fails to do so. value-laden and way off target, although it highlights a Instead, the book consists of accounts of the shocking abuse of human rights. development of mental health policy in various I have to say that despite reservations this is a countries with only sideways glances at human rights. worthwhile and thought-provoking read. I was struck It neglects both the service user and legal, political by the fundamental similarity of many of the issues and administrative perspectives that are fundamental faced across the world: de-institutionalisation, stigma, to understanding human rights and mental health. It is the failure of the so-called medical model, care versus extraordinary in this day and age that a book of this control, the influence of local healers and belief type could be published with essays exclusively systems, resources, and making the rhetoric of rights written by mental health professionals. The book is and social inclusion a reality. basically naive in both human rights and policy terms. Specifically, it is clear that no country, not even A second, less important deficit is the Italy where despite all achievements my own unsatisfactory editing and proof-reading. There are observations show that a strong medical and factual errors: for example, I imagine Cliff Prior would institutional bias remains (even in Trieste), has be astonished to learn that Professor Sir David achieved a modern mental health service that Goldberg has got his job (p11). There is also explicitly recognises the failures of the Victorian inadequate editing of the sometimes poor English of institutions and of twentieth century medicine. It is often very good contributions by authors whose first axiomatic that the new mental health service is about language is presumably not English. enabling social inclusion. It is time to work that out in Turning quickly to the merits of the book, it practice. Some of these essays hint at the way forward provides a useful tour of international mental health but we await the book which sets mental health policy policy in England (not the UK as stated; the Mental four-square within a human rights context and Health Act 1983, for example, does not apply to recognises the very limited contribution of medicine Scotland, a fact acknowledged but not pursued in the to improving the lives of people with mental health text), the United States, Australia, Italy, Egypt, India, problems. Brazil, Russia and Mozambique. There is also an essay on the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Dr Andrew McCulloch China but no description of the Chinese mental health Chief Executive policy – again a possible editorial issue. The Mental Health Foundation For me the book contains a number of highlights, 42 The Mental Health Review Volume 9 Issue 3 September 2004 © Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) 2004

Journal

Mental Health Review JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2004

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