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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Where There Is No Psychiatrist: A Mental Health Care Manual (2nd edn)

Vikram Patel and Charlotte Hanlon

Price: £10.00

Members' discount available

Published: Dec 2017

Format: Paperback

Number of pages: 282

ISBN: 9781909726833

Where There Is No Psychiatrist: A Mental Health Care Manual (2nd edn)

Mental health problems profoundly affect the quality of life, physical health and livelihoods of people all around the world. This is the second edition of one of the most widely used practical manuals of mental health care for general health workers, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries and low-resource settings of high-income countries.

Following an introduction to mental ill health, the book describes over 30 clinical problems and uses a problem-solving approach to guide readers through their assessment and management. It examines the mental health issues associated with particular settings and how to integrate mental health care with other activities in these settings, such as in refugee camps and schools.

Some chapters in the manual can be personalised for the reader’s own location and situation. The book contains many illustrations, case studies and other helpful resources and is aimed at anyone who works in a health care environment, but who does not have specialist training in mental health problems.

  • A practical manual for general and community health workers.
  • Includes over 200 illustrations.
  • Includes quick reference guide for common problems and glossary of technical terms
  • Practical guide to the use of psychiatric medicines and simple psychological treatments.

This book is intended for anyone who works in a healthcare environment, but who does not have specialist training in mental health – especially in LAMI countries, or those with sparse specialist resources.  This includes: community health workers, primary care nurses, social workers, primary care doctors and general practitioners/family doctors.

See also: Where There Is No Child Psychiatrist: A mental healthcare manual

If you are interested in producing a foreign translation, or making a bulk sales purchase, of this book please email the Sales & Marketing Manager at the College.


Where There Is No Psychiatrist  Where There Is No Psychiatrist

About the authors:

Dr Vikram Patel - Honorary Professor of International Mental Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK; Pershing Square Professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA; Honorary Consultant and Co-founder, Sangath Centre for Child Development & Family Studies, Goa, India.

Dr Charlotte Hanlon - Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Clinical Senior Lecturer in Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK; and Consultant Psychiatrist, Zewditu Memorial Hospital, Ethiopia.





Part 1: An overview of mental health problems

1. An introduction to mental health problems

2. Core skills for mental health care

3. Assessing someone with a mental health problem

4. General approach to treatment of mental health problems


Part 2: Treatments

5. Specific treatments for mental health problems


Part 3: Clinical problems

6. Emergency management

7. Behaviours causing concern

8. Symptoms that are medically unexplained

9. The person with problems due to habits

10. Problems arising from loss and violence

11. Problems in childhood and adolescence


Part 4: Integrating mental health

12. Integrating mental health into health care platforms

13. Integrating mental health into community platforms


Part 5: Localising this manual for your area

14. Medications for mental health problems

15. Resources in your area

16. Psychiatric terms for mental health problems


Useful resources


Praise for the first edition:

“In a flat 20 minutes the reader would be equipped to assess someone with mental illness.
The book is simple and has an appeal at various levels from an average lay reader to a medical practitioner. This great enduring effort from Vikram Patel is timely and a godsend for all.”
One India One People journal

“This comprehensive work empowers healthcare workers in under-resourced and developing communities to build much-needed mental health care into all aspects of existing services.”
iMHLP news

“Its colourful cover and attractive price are just the start of its attractions. …Perhaps the most important feature of the book is its breadth and flexibility…the community is encouraged to find its own way to respond to mental ill health and its determinants.”
Primary Care Mental Health

“A useful aid to understanding cross-cultural mental health … the book provides a wealth of information that will be of value to health care workers.”
Community Practitioner

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