About this event

  • Date and time Tue 14 Jan 2020 from 8:30am to 5:10pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Psychiatry, History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group (HoPSIG)

This event will take a detailed look at the history of mental health and psychiatry in British society between the years of 1960-2010, a hugely interesting and distinct period in the history of Britain.

This time period is characterised by increasing dominance of ideologies of social liberalism, free markets and practices of economic neoliberalism and globalisation - it also coincides with de-institutionalisation and community care in mental health. 

The meeting will focus on what happened to public mental health services during this time. Public experiences of mental health issues will be examined, along with those who were affected - individuals, family, other informal carers, formal carers and mental health professionals within the broader social context.

Topics include:  

  • Review the social history of psychiatry and mental health during 1960-2010
  • The mutual influence between psychiatry and social change during 1960-2010
  • Investigate the experiences of mental health service users and their informal carers during 1960-2010, and relate this to professional and societal aspirations at the time
  • To offer an opportunity to clinicians, historians, policymakers to reflect and enhance sensitivity to mental health service users and their informal carers' needs, experiences and preferences

This meeting is organised in partnership with HoPSIG RCPsych


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View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Opening of conference

Dr Valeria Mondelli, President, Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Session one: The social context 1960-2010

Chair: Professor George Ikkos, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Historical perspectives of mental health and psychiatry in British society

Professor Joanna Bourke, Professor of History, Birkbeck College, University of London

Asylums, social exclusion and scandals

Dr Louise Hide, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Birkbeck College, University of London

Question and answer session
Tea and coffee break

Session two: Policy context: Mental health economics and law

Chair: Professor Nick Bouras, Emeritus Professor, King’s College London

Legalism, paternalism, public protection, autonomy: Evolution of mental health law principles 1958-2010

Professor George Szmukler, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Society, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London

De-institutionalisation and health economics in Britain 1960-2010

Professor Paul McCrone, Professor of Health Economics, University of Greenwich

Question and answer session

Session three: The wheels of change

Chair: Professor Tom Burns, Emeritus Professor of Social Psychiatry, University of Oxford

The case of community psychiatry: Myths and reality

Dr Trevor Turner, Consultant Psychiatrist, East London NHS Foundation Trust

Fear and public concerns: The origins of the DSPD programme

Professor Peter Tyrer, Emeritus Professor of Community Psychiatry, Imperial College London

Question and answer session
Tea and coffee break

Session four: Experiencing de-insitutionalisation and community care

Chair: Dr Claire Hilton, Historian in Residence, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Service use, networking and survival

Mr David Gilbert, Director, InHealth Associates

Carers perspective

Mr Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind

Question and answer session
Closing remarks

Dr Valeria Mondelli

Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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