Communities and psychiatrists differ with regard to how they have been ‘conditioned’ to accept responsibility for caring for the mentally ill. Some are reluctant to change the style of care they have become accustomed to (Lancet, 1985). The White Paper (Community Care in the Next Decade and Beyond) has emphasised the added ‘where/how/who’ meaning of psychiatric care: from treatment to prevention, clinical to management skill, and from a position of superiority to one of equality. Some psychiatrists feel threatened by the possibility of a ‘non-medical takeover’. Mental health care is not a social service priority and future consultants should equip themselves to take an effective lead in ensuring that adequate resources are made available (Freeman, 1985). Appropriate training opportunities are scarce (Scott, 1988) and we have only two years grace.
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