We are concerned here with community psychiatry, a particular way of knowing and thinking about mental illness and of responding to it. Community psychiatry, for our purposes, refers to all the policies, services, agencies and staff deployed in treating people with mental health problems who are poor and for whom publicly-funded services are the default, if not the only, option. Community psychiatry is public psychiatry. Our first purpose is educational, to set out for ourselves and others what community psychiatry is and has been, where it has come from, and where it might go. Our immediate aim is to explain how we think of community psychiatry, why we began this project, and how we set about it.
Source: forthcoming in Rowe, M, Thompson, K, Lawless, M and Davidson, L (eds) Classics of Community Psychiatry: fifty years of public mental health outside the hospital, Oxford: Oxford UP