December 17, 2005

Crisis centers & retreats replace psychiatric hospitals?

Crisis centres, retreats and "sanctuaries" should replace psychiatric hospitals, UK report by Advocacy Group (Rethink) urges

The UK-based advocacy group called RETHINK (the NAMI equivalent in the UK, I believe) recommends in a new report that crisis centres, retreats and therapeutic "sanctuaries" with private ensuite rooms should replace psychiatric hospitals.

It was reported this week by "PsychMinded" that the report also stated that:

People in a mental health crisis and carers should also be able to drop into new community health centres at any time of the day and night to access help.

Such services should from the core infrastructure of a therapeutic non-hospital-based mental health system for the rest of this century, the Rethink report states.

The report, entitled Future Perfect, was produced after the charity had discussions with focus groups consisting of service users and carers.

A Rethink 2003 report, entitled Just One Per Cent found people’s worst experiences of mental health services were during in-patient care. Earlier this year the Healthcare Commission was critical of psychiatric wards. And in September 2004, a report by the mental health charity Mind found 51 per cent of psychiatric inpatients reported being verbally or physically threatened during their stay.

The focus groups were asked to envisage a mental health service without psychiatric hospitals.

Future Perfect states that new replacement therapeutic sanctuaries should have "open spaces and gardens, complementary therapies available, and private rooms with ensuite facilities."

The Rethink focus groups also called for a mental health service built around telephone helpline support, community-based crisis intervention and short-stay “sanctuary” model of treatments.

More information:

Rethink Report: Future Perfect - Mental health service users set out a vision for the 21st century (PDF file for download)

Just One Per Cent (satisfied with quality of mental health life) (pdf file)

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health's discussion paper Defining A Good Mental Health Service (pdf)


I found the psychiatric hospital experience to be horrifying and actually holding me back from getting better.

I have started a blog, a new concept, for a retreat. Something half way between an hour of therapy a week and a hospital stay. Please check it out and post your thoughts...

Posted by: Carrie at June 25, 2007 05:49 PM

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