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Engage with mental illness

It was refreshing to see the attention you gave to schizophrenia (PJ 2014;292:342). It would be great to see pharmacists engaging with the condition. Does anyone really know, though, how to address these serious mental illnesses?

In “The life scientific” on BBC Radio 4, Sir Robin Murray from the Institute of Psychiatry said that, in the 1980s, psychiatrists were actually trained not to engage patients about their symptoms. Those doctors are still very much around and there always seems to be silence around mental illness.

It is not for nothing that quetiapine is so called — the name conjures up thoughts of enforced quiet. Taboo, silence, stigma and shame are fearful barriers to overcome.

It is welcome to see attention going the way of mental illness, but is should be a genuine and sincere attempt and not just another of these ventures in which there is more honour in the breach than the observance.

Andrew Low

Harrow

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11136845

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