The introduction outlines the approach adopted within the book, and the main lines of argument, explaining why the decision has been taken to focus on healthcare professionals’ efforts to educate the public, rather than public opinion. Analysing recent British mental health anti-stigma campaigns, the introduction identifies common characteristics in terms of messages, objectives and difficulties encountered. It contextualises the book’s approach in relation to recent debates as to how the history of psychiatry and mental healthcare should be written, and provides a brief overview of key pieces of legislation which affected mental healthcare in the period under study. The introduction outlines how the plurality of groups working within the field of mental health, wielding divergent levels of power and status, affected discourses. A brief analysis of the concepts of stigma and discrimination is provided.
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