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DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION AND THE REVOLVING DOOR In the 1960s, there was a change in the treatment of mentally ill patients. The locations for treatment of mentally ill patients changed from inpatient institutions to community-based facilities that emphasize outpatient care. On the surface, this sounded like a great idea - bring ill patients colder to the community, help them learn to function in society, don't treat them as though they are "ill", open up beds in hospitals for physically ill people, etc. But how good was this change? This type of shift was made possible by: 1. Emergence of effective drug therapies 2. Development of community based mental health centers The shift has been tremendous: 1955: approximately 1/3 of all hospital patients were mentally ill Today: approximately 1/4 this does NOT mean that hospitalization is a thing of the past. More focus on local and community based centers. A. HAS THIS BEEN GOOD??? 1. Positives: a) many have avoided unnecessary hospitalization b) institution treatment has improved
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Unformatted text preview: c) rates in institutions have been reduced 2. Negatives: a) many severely ill patients released with nowhere to go b) those released supposed to get help from halfway houses and shelters - but most of these were never built. c) federal funding has diminished. services B. REVOLVING DOOR PROBLEM refers to patients being released from institutions, then return, then released again. WHY? 1. While in institutions patient may respond well to medication 2. Once stabilized, they no longer qualify for financial assistance. ...released 3. Community-based services not provided adequate funding, so these patients don't get enough assistance. ...thus, they digress and end up back in institution Some facts: * studies have indicated that approximately 50% of those released from public mental hospitals were readmitted in 1 year * Over 2/3 of all psychiatric inpatients are former patients * one result has been massive homelessness of those suffering from mental illnesses...
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