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Asylum: A magazine for democratic psychiatry in England 

Asylum: A magazine for democratic psychiatry in England
Asylum: A magazine for democratic psychiatry in England

Helen Spandler

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date: 21 April 2021

Psichiatria Democratica, the Italian democratic psychiatry movement, may have had little impact on mainstream psychiatry in the UK. However, developments in Trieste provided ongoing inspiration to a significant number of mental health workers and activists, especially in the North of England from the mid 1980s onwards. They tried to use community care policies as an opportunity to develop more democratic mental health services. These developments were often featured in Asylum: the magazine for democratic psychiatry, which was directly inspired by Psichiatria Democratica. Asylum magazine still exists as one of the few concrete legacies of the movement in the UK. This chapter uses research into the first 30 years of the magazine as a vehicle to explore the influence of the Italian democratic psychiatry movement in the UK. It argues that Asylum magazine continues the struggle for democratic psychiatry, adapted for contemporary times.

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