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Journal: International journal of mental health systems


BACKGROUND: The shift from asylum to community care for mental health patients has burdened the providers of primary health care and, more than all, families. As a result, numerous studies [Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 31:345–348, 1995, J Health Socisl Behav 36:138–150, 1995] have focused on the burden of care experienced by family members living with individuals with severe mental disorders. This kind of provision, also extols a significant cost to the society at large in terms of significant direct and indirect costs. A cost that may be even higher in times of severe socio-economic crisis.Methodology: This study, firstly, aims to examine the burden that the family members experience by caring for individuals with schizophrenia and the identification of the parameters, in a micro and macro level, that affect family burden. Secondly, this study aims to investigate whether the welfare state will be fit to help vulnerable groups as the one studied, especially during economic crisis periods when austerity measures are being implemented into welfare systems. For data collection purposes this study employed the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire [Schizophr Bull 1998, 24(4):609–618]. The sample consisted of caregivers either living in rural or urban areas of the district of Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. These people were attending regular meetings with their allocated Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN) in Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC). RESULTS: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was applied with the tension, the supervision, the worry, and the encouragement entering as dependent factors. In each case, participant’s age, gender, marital status, income, number of people living in the same house with the participant, degree of relationship between the caregiver and the person suffering from severe mental disorder, the age of the relative, and the gender of the relative, were entered as independent factors. Four ANCOVAs were performed, one for each dimension of the family burden. The results from this analysis produced only one significant main effect of the gender of the relative on supervision [F(1,118) = 4.40, p = .011, etap2 = .053] with male relatives suffering from schizophrenia requiring higher supervision than female ones as their relative caregivers responses indicate. CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, families under great stress due to the reasons derived from the weaknesses of the welfare system described throughout this paper would give up and reject the mentally ill individuals who would become outcasts socially. Therefore, health systems need to aim to the development of psychosocial provisions for both family caregivers and patients as to decrease the family burden rates and increase the possibility of smooth transition to the society.

Concepts: Family, Medicine, Mental health, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Mental illness, Family therapy


This article provides an overview of the current and projected climate change risks and impacts to mental health and provides recommendations for priority actions to address the mental health consequences of climate change.


The United States has become a country that is constantly at war. This situation has created a crisis amongst our veterans. The current uneven access to appropriate mental health services that returning U.S. veterans encounter echoes the disparities in access to quality mental health services for the general population. The information presented here shows that the shortcomings of our health care system in addressing the mental health needs for our returning veterans may lead to the high suicide rates. Addressing the problem of inadequate access to quality mental health services is critical in any efforts to reforming the U.S. health care system. Our findings suggest that mental health disparities are often a leading factor to the high suicide rates among veterans who experience depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. To improve the health and well-being of our veterans who have served this nation, requires a collaboration between public and non-profit mental health providers at the State and local levels. It is imperative that we increase the availability of crisis intervention and mental health services for all veterans that have served this nation.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Health disparities, United States, Mental disorder, Barack Obama, Massachusetts


Since the economic recession began in 2008 anecdotal reports suggest that mental health services in England have experienced disinvestment, but published data to test this proposition are few.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Mental health, Massachusetts, Unemployment, Recession, Anecdotal evidence


With the implicit neglect for the integration of mental health services into general health service development in South Africa, there is an urgent need for an understanding of the ways in which existing reforms may be leveraged to incorporate the objectives of the National Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategic Plan (MHPF) and the mechanisms by which these reforms can be structured and financed in the context of fiscal constraint.


Facilitation of service user participation in the co-production of mental healthcare planning and service delivery is an integral component of contemporary mental health policy and clinical guidelines. However, many service users continue to experience exclusion from the planning of their care. This review synthesizes qualitative research about participation in mental healthcare and articulates essential processes that enable service user participation in mental health care.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Health economics, Medicine, Healthcare, Clinical trial, Medical ethics


BACKGROUND: Individuals, families and communities in Northern Sri Lanka have undergone three decades of war trauma, multiple displacements, and loss of family, kin, friends, homes, employment and other valued resources. The objective of the study was understanding common psychosocial problems faced by families and communities, and the associated risk and protective factors, so that practical and effective community based interventions can be recommended to rebuild strengths, adaptation, coping strategies and resilience. METHODS: This qualitative, ecological study is a psychosocial ethnography in post-war Northern Sri Lanka obtained through participant observation; case studies; key- informant interviews; and focus groups discussions with mental health and psychosocial community workers as well as literature survey of media and organizational reports. Qualitative analysis of the data used ethnography, case studies, phenomenonology, grounded theory, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionism techniques. Quantitative data on suicide was collected for Jaffna and Killinochchi districts. RESULTS: Complex mental health and psychosocial problems at the individual, family and community levels in a post-war context were found to impair recovery. These included unresolved grief; individual and collective trauma; insecurity, self-harm and suicides; poverty and unemployment; teenage and unwanted pregnancies; alcoholism; child abuse and neglect; gender based violence and vulnerability including domestic violence, widows and female headed-household, family conflict and separation; physical injuries and handicap; problems specific for children and elderly; abuse and/or neglect of elderly and disabled; anti-social and socially irresponsible behaviour; distrust, hopelessness, and powerlessness . Protective factors included families; female leadership and engagement; cultural and traditional beliefs, practices and rituals; and creative potential in narratives, drama and other arts. Risk factors that were impeding community rehabilitation and recovery included continuing military governance, depletion of social capital particularly lack of trust, hope and socio-economic opportunity structures for development that would engender a sense of collective efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: In view of the widespread trauma at the individual, family and collective levels, community based programmes to increase local awareness, knowledge and skills to deal with common mental health and psychosocial issues; training of community level workers and others in basic mental health and psychosocial problem solving are recommended to rebuild family and community agency and resilience. The use of cultural practices and school based programmes would rekindle community processes.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Focus group, Sociology, Qualitative research, Case study, Grounded theory, Participant observation, Quantitative research


In 1978 Italy implemented Law Number 180, the reform law that blocked all new admissions to public mental hospitals. After 40 years without mental hospitals, we aim at understanding the consequences of the Italian reform in terms of mental health care facility and staff availability. We compared the organization of the Italian mental health system with that of countries belonging to the Group of 7 (G7) major advanced economies. Italy has nearly 8 psychiatrists, 20 nurses, 2 social workers and less than 3 psychologists per 100,000 population, while for example in France there were 22 psychiatrists, in Japan 102 nurses, in the United States 18 social workers, and in Canada and France more than 45 psychologists per 100,000 population. In terms of inpatient facilities, no beds in mental hospitals were available in Italy, while in the other G7 countries mental hospital beds ranged from 8 in the United Kingdom to 204 in Japan per 100 000 population. In Italy there were fewer beds for acute care in general hospitals but more beds in community residential facilities than in the other G7 countries. Service use data showed variability in the provision of mental health care throughout the country. Soon after the implementation of the Italian reform the absolute number of compulsory admissions progressively declined, from more than 20,000 in 1978 to less than 9000 in 2015. Alongside the progressive decline of psychiatric beds imposed by Law 180, the age-adjusted suicide rate remained stable, ranging from 7·1/100,000 population in 1978 to 6·3/100,000 population in 2012. The population of psychiatric patients placed in Italian forensic psychiatric hospitals progressively declined. During the last 40 years without mental hospitals, Italy has seen a progressive consolidation of a community-based system of mental health care. We highlighted, however, reasons for concern, including a decreasing staffing level, a potential use of community residential facilities as long-stay residential services, a still too high variability in service provision across the country, and lack of national data on physical restraints. At a national level, the resources allocated to mental health care are lower in Italy than in other high-income countries.


There are few accounts of evidence-based interventions for depression and other common mental disorders (CMDs) in primary care in low-income countries. The Friendship Bench Project is a collaborative care mental health intervention in primary care in Harare for CMDs which began as a pilot in 2006.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Mind, Mental disorder, Integral psychology


Mental, neurological and substance use disorders contribute to a significant proportion of the world’s disease burden, including in low and middle income countries (LMICs). In this study, we focused on the health systems required to support integration of mental health into primary health care (PHC) in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Public health, World, Sudan, Primary health care, African Union