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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, April 16, 2007

MP's are about to debate a mental health bill, which would allow those with anti-social problems to be 'detained', without their having committed a crime..
There is some great degree of public support for such a piece of legislation, considering the numbers who have been murdered or injured by those diagnosed with 'untreatable' problems..
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity 'Mind', said the government had not learned the right lessons from a series of high-profile killings...He added: "Countless inquiries into these homicides tell us that it's the services and access to services that makes the biggest difference - not changing the law."
The Conservatives point out the plans will make it easier for people to be detained at a time when the NHS is being forced to close beds in mental health wards.
The number of beds for the mentally ill fell from 36,601 in 1997-8 to 29,802 in 2005-6.. according to David..
And, over the same period, the number of formal admissions to NHS facilities rose by 325 to 25,740...
This is a disturbing trend among those men on the street.. this fear of those who are suffering from mental problems. As has been previously reported here, fully one quarter of Britons, at one time or another, have, or do suffer from depression, and most of those go undiagnosed.
There is a sigma attached.. by friends, neighbours, and perhaps more importantly, by employers..
There is no doubt that something must be done to supervise those who are diagnosed with anti-social behavioral problems, but legislation which could see them locked up indefinately smacks of a Gitmo situation.
No charges need be laid.. no crime committed.. merely the possibility..
This flies in the face of the foundation of our legal system, that being 'innocent until proven guilty'..
It is a Law which must be thought through completely, for if it is passed, it could lead to the indefinate imprisonment of alcoholics.. drug-addicts.. any who display anti-social behavior on a continuous level..
And, it will turn the psychiatric wards of the NHS, into virtual prisons, with the nessisary segregation of those who exhibit violent tendencies from those who are merely 'depressed'..
One wonders which the government considers cheaper.. the construction of new jails, or the approval of expansion of mental units within existing hospitals... the hiring of new warders, against the hiring of nurses to care for these disturbed people..
Again..interesting, to say the least.

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