Diana's mixed feelings about mental health care are common among people with mental illness, who both feel that they have been helped and been misunderstood by psychiatric services. It is a paradox that many mentally ill people do not speak highly of mental health staff, who are specifically trained to treat people with such conditions. The experience of people with mental illness is that they often feel patronized, punished or humiliated by such contact. Indeed service users often rate mental health staff as one of the groups which most stigmatises mentally ill people. How is this possible when mental health professionals are especially qualified to understand and offer expert assistance to people with mental health problems? These thorny issues are the centre-point of this chapter.
Chapter. 10616 words. Illustrated.
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