top of page

In this acclaimed book, first published almost thirty years ago, Peter Barham examines the changing fortunes of mental patients in the era of the asylum and its aftermath. He demonstrates powerfully that the closure of mental hospitals cannot meet the real needs of people with severe mental health problems without a profound rethinking of the role, rights and status of the former mental patient in society.


This new edition features a preface by veteran mental health survivor, trainer, campaigner and poet Peter Campbell and an extensive prologue by Peter Barham.


The price is low so that should be affordable. If not and you want a copy please get in touch directly with Em Farrell at


Praise for Closing the Asylum:


'This is a book about deinstitutionalisation, and its failings, but it is also an important and empathetic reminder of the humanity of people who live with severe and enduring mental distress… Barham's new prologue critically analyses how the growing assault on the welfare state and dependency has affected mental health policy since Closing the Asylum was first published…' – Dr. Vicky Long


'Barham's writing is fired by a fervent belief in the potential of the mentally ill person and their right to full membership in society.'

– Dr. Allan Beveridge

Closing the Asylum: the Mental Patient in Modern Society, by Peter Barham

    bottom of page