Abstract

A survey of attitudes to mental illness was conducted in a quota sample of about 2000 subjects in Malvern and Bromsgrove. Factor analysis showed three main components - benevolence, authoritarianism, and fear of the mentally ill. Residents of Bromsgrove, which is served by a traditional mental hospital, were slightly more tolerant than those living in Malvern, which has a community-based service, and has seen the closure of two mental hospitals in its vicinity during the last 10 years. The main demographic determinants of tolerance are age, education, occupation, and acquaintance with the mentally ill.