Institutions without walls still institutions, says mental health researcher

September 01, 2005

Mental health researcher Dr Lorna Moxham continues to find that people with mental illness may be de-institutionalised but often remain under institution-like conditions.

Dr Moxham said that being based in the community often meant life was still like living in an institution anyway - the very thing community care was trying to avoid.

"I know of adults who still have strict bedtimes and mealtimes and who are not allowed to have posters on their bedroom walls ... autonomy and choice , the very essence of community living is often lacking," she said.

Dr Moxham said mentally-ill people, particularly women, were also highly vulnerable to attack in community settings. People mistakenly worry about mentally ill people being violent when, more often than not, mentally ill people are the ones subject to the violence.

She said some mentally-ill people would be better off in asylums, where they at least had access to therapeutic recreation options. For example, tending to vegetable gardens supplying nearby hospitals could give patients a sense of self-worth.

"Unfortunately, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater when people were de-institutionalised," she said.

"We should look at having a range of housing options, including asylums, in the sense that asylums are supposed to be places of safety."
-end-
For details call Dr Moxham on l.moxham@cqu.edu.au or +61 7 4930 9894.

Research Australia

Related Mental Illness Articles from Brightsurf:

Mental illness, mental health care use among police officers
A survey study of Texas police officers examines how common mental illness and mental health care use are in a large urban department.

Hospitals miss mental illness diagnosis in more than a quarter of patients
Severe mental illness diagnoses are missed by clinicians in more than one quarter of cases when people are hospitalised for other conditions, finds a new study led by UCL researchers, published in PLOS Medicine.

Young migrants at risk of mental illness
Experience of trauma, abuse and poverty puts the mental health of many young refugees at risk.

Chronic illness in childhood linked to higher rates of mental illness
Children with long-term health conditions may be more likely to experience mental illness in early adolescence than healthy children, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.

Did 'Joker' movie perpetuate prejudices against those with mental illness?
Researchers in this survey study examined whether watching the 2019 movie 'Joker,' in which the namesake character is violent and has mental illness, was associated with a change in the level of prejudice toward people with mental illness compared with others who watched another movie.

Skills training opens 'DOORS' to digital mental health for patients with serious mental illness
Digital technologies, especially smartphone apps, have great promise for increasing access to care for patients with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia.

Research calls for new measures to treat mental illness and opioid use
Opioid use among psychiatric hospital patients needs to be addressed through an integrated approach to managing mental illness, pain and substance use, a study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has found.

Researchers challenge myth of the relationship between mental illness and incarceration
Researchers examined the relationship between psychiatric diagnoses and future incarceration by merging data from psychiatric interviews that took place in the 1980s with 30 years of follow-up data.

New research raises important questions on how mental illness is currently diagnosed
This research raises questions as to whether current diagnoses accurately reflect the underlying neurobiology of mental illness.

Young teens of color more likely to avoid peers with mental illness
Students identifying as black or Latino are more likely to say they would socially distance themselves from peers with a mental illness, a key indicator of mental illness stigma, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Read More: Mental Illness News and Mental Illness Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.