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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
'These measures are good news'
Jayne Zito
Jayne Zito: "Mental health is still a cinderella service"
Jayne Zito's husband Jonathan was killed by schizophrenia patient Christopher Clunis in 1992.

She welcomes tough new plans to detain mentally ill people in hospital if they do not take the treatment prescribed to them.

Ms Zito, who set up mental health charity the Zito Trust to work towards the reform of mental health policy and law, said she was in favour of compulsory treatment orders.

She told the BBC: "We know that individuals with severe mental illness in our community have to reach crisis point before they are detained.

"So they will stop taking their medication and they can become a risk to themselves or a risk to other people.

"Measures for compulsory treatment orders mean that if individuals do stop taking their medication they can be reviewed and therefore treated appropriately within our communities."

'Cinderella service'

Jonathan Zito
Jonathan Zito was murdered
She said the measures would identify individuals who needed specialised services and treatment rather than simply "taking people off the streets".

She also wants to see a better infrastructure in community services so that individuals who do suffer from illness do not have to reach crisis point.

That means therapeutic services, better community support, access to better medication, and more funding, she added.

Ms Zito said: "At present we know that mental health is still a cinderella service in this country and if the government want to improve mental health services, new funding has to be targetted specifically at mental health services to improve the lives of those individuals that suffer within our communities as well as hospital settings when people become desperately ill."

Catalogue of errors

Ms Zito's husband was waiting for a tube at Finsbury Park in December 1992 when Christopher Clunis approached him from behind and stabbed him in the eye. The couple had been married for just three months.

Clunis suffered from schizophrenia. The subsequent report into the case revealed a catalogue of errors in his care, stretching back over many years.

Ms Zito set up the trust to work towards the reform of mental health policy, to provide advice and support to victims of community care breakdown, and to carry out research into mental health services.

She was awarded an OBE for her work in the 2002 New Year Honours List.

See also:

10 Oct 01 | Health
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08 May 02 | Health
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