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AT any given moment, around 17,000 mentally ill individuals are living in psychiatric units in the UK.
For most the day will dawn when they are released. Yet for many this precious day will prove to be the beginning of deeper woes.
More than 1,000 each year will commit suicide. Many will take their leave alone in sordid hostels or whatever accommodation our welfare state puts itself out to provide for them as they struggle to claim benefits.
To a visitor from another planet, it would appear obvious that such individuals should on release be offered a place in a rehab institution; a halfway house between the shelter of the psychiatric unit and the everyday community in which the majority ultimately hope to take their place.
Instead, the policy of NHS orthodox psychiatry adds up to the very opposite.
Rehab is discouraged in favour of drug-controlled outpatient treatment, which leaves the patients to fend for themselves.
If you have a son or daughter about to be released from a psychiatric unit, ask for rehab and keep asking. Talk to you GP or consult a relevant helpline.
Don’t be fobbed off by pharmaceutical fog from the men in white coats.
Gareth Papps, Main Street, Stillington.