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Community Treatment Orders in Victoria, Australia

  • Paul Dedman (a1)
Extract

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.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Borland, A., McRae, J. & Lycan, C. (1989) Outcomes of five years of continuous intensive case management. Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 40, 369376.
Dyer, C. (1987) Compulsory treatment in the community for the mentally ill? British Medical Journal, 295, 991992.
Hoult, J. (1986) Community care of the acutely mentally ill. British Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 137144.
Mental Health Act Commission. (1986) Compulsory treatment in the community: a discussion paper. London: Mental Health Act Commission.
Stein, L. I. & Test, M. A. (1980) Alternative to mental hospital treatment: 1. Conceptual model, treatment program and clinical evaluation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 37, 392397.
Thornicroft, G. (1987) Compulsory treatment in the community for the mentally ill?; letter. British Medical Journal, 295, 15621563.
Wilk, R. J. (1988) Implications of involuntary outpatient commitment for community health agencies. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 58, 580591.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Community Treatment Orders in Victoria, Australia

  • Paul Dedman (a1)
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