Edited by Neil Brimblecombe and Peter Nolan, respectively Director of Nursing, Research and Development, South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust; Visiting Professor in Mental Health Nursing, University of Birmingham and Emeritus Professor of Mental Health Care, Staffordshire University

Forewords by Matt Muijen, Peter Carter and Ian Hulatt, Programme Manager, Mental Health and Degenerative Disorders, WHO Regional Office for Europe; General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing, London; Mental Health Adviser, Nursing Department, Royal College of Nursing, London


Worldwide, mental health problems are set to become the second greatest threat to health by the end of the next decade.

The European Union has identified mental health problems as a growing concern, although there is great variation within EU countries with respect to patient numbers and the range of facilities available to them. Historically, EU mental healthcare services have been analysed using measurable aspects of care provisions such as throughput, costs and outcome measures. Little is known of the experiences, perceptions, beliefs and values of those accessing and providing services.

This enlightening new book adopts a very different approach. With a particular focus on nursing, it examines and critiques the state of specialist mental health services in nine EU countries – Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and Portugal. Each chapter focuses on a single country and ascertains existing services, their development, the treatments and care provided, factors preventing better service delivery, and suggestions for improvement. A rich pattern of differences emerge and comparisons can then be drawn.

It also explores the emergence of an EU mental health identity in regards to selection of mental health personnel, their training and education, and the range of services they provide.

Healthcare professionals and students with a particular interest in mental health issues (especially those with an interest in international approaches) will welcome the fresh analysis. It provides vital new information for European policy makers and shapers, voluntary sector personnel, and service users and the organisations representing them.


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