1st Edition

Living with Mental Illness A Study in East London

By Enid Mills Copyright 1962

    The Mental Health Act of 1959 marked a turning point in national policy on mental illness. Originally published in 1962, this book reports a sociological survey of a group of people from an East London borough who entered a large mental hospital in 1956 and 1957, at the very time when a Royal Commission was preparing the report upon which the new legislation was based.

    Living with Mental Illness shows what happened to these mental patients and to their relatives, and tells of their reactions and impressions. The impact of mental illness on their domestic and social circumstances is described, as is the part played in their lives by the social services; and the relationship between people’s perceptions of mental illness and their attitudes to hospital is discussed. Enid Mills considers the prospects for ‘community care’ of the mentally ill in the borough studied, and concludes, as Professor Morris Carstairs says in his Foreword, with ‘a review of the difficulties which must be overcome if the transition is to be effected from an outmoded, remote mental hospital system to a community-based service which will be at once efficient and humane’.

    Foreword by Professor G. M. Carstairs.  Acknowledgements.  1. Introduction  Part 1: The Experience of Mental Illness  2. Becoming a Patient  3. The Patient in Hospital  4. Perception of Mental Illness  5. Attitudes to Hospital  6. Kinship and Mental illness  7. Life at Home  Part 2: Community Services  8. The Patient and the Community (Employment, Finance, Housing)  9. Health Services  10. Other Welfare Services  11. In Conclusion: Continuity of Care and Mental Health.  Appendices: Interview Schedule;  Additional Statistical Information;  Notes on the Text;  List of References.  Index.


    Enid Mills