Schizophrenia Outcomes in the 21st century
Schizophrenia Outcomes in the 21st century:
A systematic review
Huxley P, Krayer A, Poole R, Prendergast L, Aryal S, Warner R. (2021). Brain and Behaviour.
First published: 15 May 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2172
I am proud that this publication of this paper completes Dick Warner’s seminal work on outcomes for people diagnosed with schizophrenia. Dick died on the 12th of April 2018, and this is a good moment to remember him.
In academic terms, Dick Warner had what is known as an ‘international reputation’. This was not simply for his work for the World Psychiatric Association and for the reach and impact of his book ‘Recovery from Schizophrenia’, but also because he brought the same integrity, intelligence and sense of humour to his work all over the world. Like my old friend Jo Oliver, you could be anywhere in the world and someone Dick knew would turn up out of the blue and be delighted to see him again.
My life would have been very different had Dick not intercepted my plan to spend a sabbatical with the mental health division of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – Mental Health Division, in Boulder) in the fall of 1989. He said “don’t do that come here” (Boulder County Community Mental Health Centre), so I did. Over the next 15 years we conducted many research projects into the quality of mental health services that he and Phoebe Norton, and others, helped to create.
The services included a tri-agency service to prevent child abuse which resulted in a significant reduction in the number of young mums turning up in the emergency room with dehydrated and vomiting babies. We evaluated the Club House, and conducted quality of life interviews with employees there. We did the same at the Watshop, a sheltered employment environment which did work for the US Post Office. The Watshop had its own business manager (Dexter) who held a seat on the local Chamber of Commerce. Jim Mandiburg and Dick wrote subsequently about the value of such enclaves and the benefit to those who were employed there. This was an unpopular view with those management vandals in the UK who reduced Remploy to ashes and spoiled the lives of many families in doing so, with no improvement in their employment or their quality of life.
His treatment unit, which operated as a therapeutic community (Cedar House) was a 15 bedded unit in a domestic property. When Dick left the Boulder County services, the remaining psychiatrists renamed it ‘Warner House’. He also instigated a street team to work with homeless people, a prison psychiatric in-reach service, a case management service located in a house in a local street, a series of affordable rented homes, an association with the local Buddhist University (The Naropa Institute, now the Naropa University) and a not-for-profit community pharmacy employing patients. To top it all when a managed care company decided to cut the BCMHC funding substantially, he began again, setting up Colorado Recovery which was eventually sold to its employees.
Turning to my personal thanks, I have to thank Dick for introducing me to the Denver Broncos, CU and the Colorado Rockies (how many games behind are we this week?). One highlight was actually going with Dick to a very windy Candlestick Park, to see the Giants and Barry Bonds play. We enjoyed bluegrass, country, blues and more during those nights at the Boulder Theatre (Buddy Guy; Alison Krauss), Red Rocks (Leon Russell) , the Gold Hill Inn (Runaway Truck Stop) Chatauqua (Loudon Wainwright III), Fiddler’s Green (Don Henly) and the Acoustic Café (Chuck Pyle).
The photograph was taken in August 1991, on a balcony outside the plantation house Oak Alley north of New Orleans (when I was in my ZZ Top phase).
Keep rocking Dick.
Professor Peter Huxley