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Community Mental Health Care in the Future: Nine Proposals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Graham Thornicroft, Michele Tansella

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

King's Authors


The aim of this article was to put community psychiatry into a longitudinal and global perspective and to try to look into the future. Specifically, we set out the following nine proposals:

1. Central and regional government should measure the treated percentage of people with mental illness (coverage) and set specific targets to increase coverage over set time periods.

2. Health care services need to recognize the far lower life expectancy among people with mental disorders and develop and evaluate new methods to reduce this health disparity.

3. Mental health services should provide specific modules to reduce stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental illness.

4. Mental health staff should provide care that service users (and their family members) find accessible and acceptable.

5. Mental health care should consist of a careful balance of hospital and community care, with most care provided at or near people's homes.

6. Mental health planners, both in times of economic growth and recession, should invest in treatments known to be effective and disinvest from treatments known to be ineffective or even harmful.

7. Mental health staff and service users should develop and evaluate methods to improve shared decision making.

8. Health care practitioners (of western and nonwestern traditions) should take practical steps to see each other as partners in an integrated system that increases the total amount of mental health care available, while ensuring that only effective and acceptable treatments are provided.

9. Mental health services should develop dedicated programs for recovery: this implies that staff understand an individual's personal recovery goals and fully support his/her achievement.

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