It is one of the failures of contemporary psychiatry that many patients who respond well to neuroleptic medication given to them when they are in-patients relapse after discharge due to not taking any further medication. Those working closely with the acute psychiatric patient in the community are often forced to stand by powerlessly as a patient deteriorates, causing damage to himself and his social milieu until such a point is reached when he is again ill enough to warrant compulsory admission and treatment. This process is, of course, devastating for a patient's family and also disheartening for professionals involved, and is perhaps partly responsible for the high turnover of staff involved in front line services. Even if assertive outreach methods are employed such as those involved in a number of comprehensive community-based programmes (Stein & Test, 1980; Borland et al, 1989) so that contact with the patient is not lost, it is not possible without the necessary legislation to enforce treatment in the community.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.