Traditional Healers - Smoking - Moon & Madness

Western medicine teaches that mental illness is a result of dysfunctional biology or psychology, but in some countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, there remain powerful beliefs that disease and illness are supernatural phenomena, and that health can only be restored by traditional healers acting within the context of the patient’s family and community. Previously there were attempts to ban and exclude traditional healers from modern health care systems, but recently there’s been a rapprochement between the two groups.
Joining Raj Persaud to discuss this issue - Dr Dele Olajide, a consultant psychiatric at the Maudsley Hospital in South London who treats many patients who also consult traditional healers, and Tuviah Zabow, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Capetown, South Africa, whose recent paper in the academic journal, International Psychiatry, called for Western-trained psychiatrists to increase their knowledge of traditional concepts and systems.

On 31st July 2007 public places in the UK became smoke free. Earlier this year All in the Mind highlighted the impact of this ban on patients who had been sectioned and who were being treated as in-patients.
Rampton High Security Hospital introduced their ban on smoking three months earlier, on March 31st this year.
One patient at Rampton is claiming that stopping him smoking breaches his human rights, and his case for a Judicial Review is due to be heard in the High Court this Friday.
Raj Persaud spoke to Marcus Brown, of Nottingham Solicitors, Cartwright King, who are representing Mr Grimwood in his legal challenge; and to Dr Emmet Larkin, the Associate Medical Director of the Nottinghamshire Health Care NHS Trust, who strongly defended their smoke free policy.

This weekend there will be a full moon. History is littered with the widespread conviction that madness is linked to cycles of the Earth's closest celestial neighbour – but are these beliefs merely historical? Despite tending to be dismissed by the professional mainstream, belief in the lunar hypothesis has persisted among some clinicians.
Raj Persaud spoke to Niall McCrae, a trained psychiatric nurse and clinical trial manager at the Health Services and Population Research Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, who has spent several years researching the subject and has recently presented his paper in a lecture - Moon and Madness – a historical perspective on psychiatry and the concept of lunar influence on the mind – at the Institute.

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Wed 21 Nov 2007 16:30

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