Public alarm for random attacks by mentally ill people is at an all-time high. The brutal killing of Jill Dando, the TV personality, and the assault on George Harrison, the former Beatle, are among the cases which have undermined confidence in the mental health service. Community care is widely seen as a failed policy that has left too many people walking the streets, posing a risk to themselves and a threat to others. The Government has responded with a programme of change billed as the biggest reform in forty years, but will it achieve the 'safe, sound, supportive' service as promised?
For Pure Madness, Jeremy Laurance travelled across the country observing the care provided to mentally ill people in Britain today. Based on interviews, visits and case histories, his book reveals a service driven by fear.
'This controversial book will shock the mental health world. It will be warmly welcomed by those who think that the mentally ill are scandalously neglected. It will also provoke the antagonism of many actively involved in field, both as providers and users of services. It will leave no-one indifferent. Jeremy Laurance paints a vivid and harsh portrait of how mentally ill people are treated in Britain today. It is quite simply required reading for anyone interested in mental health.' - Professor Graham Thornicroft, Head of Community Psychiatry Section, Institute of Psychiatry
'Comprehensive, easy to understand, accurately reflecting the needs and perspectives of those with mental health difficulties, this book has qualities that the mental health services it describes desperately lack.' - Nurturing Potential
'The blood, sweat and tears that went into producing the book are evident. The author's personal encounters, observing mental health professionals in action, and the stories of staff and service users, allow the reader to empathise with the people involved and the issues they face. In sum, a compelling and intellectually stimulating book, full of passion and insight.' - Erin Whittingham, Healthmatters
Introduction 1. The State We're In 2. How We Got Here 3. Mad Axemen and the Growth of Coercion 4. A New Law for the 21st Century 5. The Clamour for Consumer Control 6. Taking Care to the Community 7. Taking Care to the Home 8. Taking Care to the Street 9. Life Stories 10. Carers: The Missing Link 11. The New Meaning of Community Care