Discuss the historical origins of mental health services in the United States.
Discuss how mental health services have changed in recent years.
Discuss some of the public perception challenges there are surrounding mental illness and access to care in the United State
The historical origins of mental health services in the United States.
The first hospital for the mentally ill people was opened in Williams Berg, Virginia. 1773. Originally there were only eight hospitals but the crusades by Dorothea Dix led to establishment of 32 more, where the patients were mostly from Alms houses, Jails etc. The census of 1840, included insane and idiotic.
As we find in the above article the movement commencing from 1773 to the present day has undergone a number of changes, public opinion and views, to treatment. Various acts have been singed by different Governors and Presidents recognizing it a major challenge needing urgent innovation, study, research, analysis and involving use of new drugs and change of the response and attitude of the people in general towards such patients.
With the result the number of such patients has come down. President Kennedy signed the legislation for custodial institutional cared. Consequently alcoholics and drug abuse disorders started getting grants. Massachusetts started using the concept of Behavioral health in the treatment of such people including children and elderly.
The dream of fuller social integration has remained a dream as there are many people without work, with limited social interaction passing their days in sheltered environments. Inadequate services fail to cater to the complicated needs of the patients. Services in their turn create a ghetto like situation where patients meet with each other but rarely in social community. Many feel that community psychiatry be replaced by psychiatric community.