The application of the ideas of Frantz Fanon to the practice of mental health nursing


  • John Hopton RMN RCNT MA

    Corresponding author
    1. Nurse Teacher, Northern College of Nursing, Greater Manchester, and Part-time Research Student, Centre for Studies in Crime and Social Justice, Edge Hill College of Higher Education, Ormskirk, Lancashire, England
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John Hopton, 64 Peveril Close Whitefield, Manchester M45 6NR, England


This paper is based on an extensive review of the published literature which refers to the clinical and social psychology of Frantz Fanon, and seeks to establish the relevance of Fanon's psychological thought to the practice of mental health nursing in the 1990s The writer sets out the key principles of Fanon's clinical and social psychology, and engages with the theoretical problems which arise from the close relationship between Fanon's psychological theories and his involvement with violent revolutionary politics After discussing the links between Fanon's unique psychology and the work of the anti-psychiatrists of the 1960s and later critiques of mental health care, the writer argues that the development and adoption of a neo-Fanonist approach to the practice of mental health nursing would address many of the problems of current mental health care practice In particular, the principles of Fanon's psychology address many of the concerns about disempowerment of service users which have been highlighted in work by feminist and anti-racist writers, and by members of the Mental Health Service Users' Movement