In a survey of district plans for Mental Health services (Kingdon, 1988) befriending schemes, where volunteers are recruited to visit isolated and lonely users of psychiatric services, were planned or in existence in 14 of the 127 districts who responded. However, lists of the components of a comprehensive community service (MIND, 1983) and Hirsch (1988) surprisingly do not include references to such schemes, although Griffiths (1988) alludes to them in his recent report. There are moreover no reports in the psychiatric literature of such enterprises. The scheme established by MIND in Bassetlaw (population (103,000) is therefore described.
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