Letter: Innocent locked up

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Half of the people contacting our national advice service who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder have, in fact, been misdiagnosed.

Young people and people from ethnic minorities are particularly at risk of being wrongly labelled. The Government's plan for preventative detention of people with a personality disorder risks this problem being made worse.

A severe mental illness such as schizophrenia tends to strike in late adolescence or early adulthood. Left untreated, or treated badly, it can look very like personality disorder to professionals. It is a scandal that people with such a serious but treatable condition are left without help for an average of 18 months. The Government must make sure that there is a thorough assessment by skilled staff so that appropriate treatment is available at the earliest opportunity.

CLIFF PRIOR

Chief Executive

National Schizophrenia Fellowship

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

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