By Virginia Valian

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In Italy, a society to help reintegrate ‘the poor insane’ discharged from the (otherwise very) progressive asylum at Reggio-Emilia, was set up in 1874 (Sérieux 1903: 671–4). In addition, although the state mental hospital remained the dominant public institution in the asylum era, it was not the only one. Relatively early, general hospitals began admitting mentally ill patients into psychiatry divisions. After the Second World War, the shift from asylum to general hospital was to take on positive, progressive overtones – the tip of the lance of ‘de-asylumization’, to coin a phrase.

Moreover, some therapeutic initiatives seem to overlook the broad functional and societal ramifications of a diverse group of disorders that includes chronic psychological malaise, destabilizing and disabling phobias and episodes of acute psychosis. Institution-focused services continue to dominate much of the European mental health landscape and community-based support systems are patchy in 4 Mental health policy and practice availability and quality. Fundamental abuses of human rights continue to occur, perhaps most visibly within the institutions of central and eastern Europe, but certainly not confined to those settings or those parts of the continent (see Chapters 3, 13 and 17).

Teague, P. (1999) Reshaping employment regimes in Europe: policy shifts alongside boundary change, Journal of Public Policy, 19(1): 33–62. Thornicroft, G. (2006a) Shunned: Discrimination against People with Mental Illness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Thornicroft, G. (2006b) Actions Speak Louder: Tackling Discrimination against People with Mental Illness. London: Mental Health Foundation. 14 Mental health policy and practice Thornicroft, G. and Tansella, M. (2004) Components of a modern mental health service: a pragmatic balance of community and hospital care: overview of systematic evidence, British Journal of Psychiatry, 185: 283–90.

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Advancing Women Bibliography by Virginia Valian


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