Changing The Face Of Mental Health

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Changing The Face of Mental Health Crystelle Rivas Kaplan University Changing The Face of Mental Health Mental illness plays a significant role in homelessness across America. Nearly “25% of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of severe mental illness” (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). Because people with severe mental handicaps have a harder time integrating into society without the help of trained professionals, a large number of these individuals become homeless or have placement issues. For this reason, mental health centers have been placed in communities across the country in an effort to give these people a foundation for growth and recovery. Since the mental health centers have limited…show more content…
The living conditions offered to the patients were basic and would be considered unsuitable by any of today’s standards. Not only did the institution have their patients sleeping on cots and sharing rooms, they also did not offer any meaningful therapies to help. In essence, patients were “drugged and warehoused” with their care in the hands of a team which consisted of the entire staff, including the janitor (Milwaukee County Asylum, 2013). Because this process was a typical occurrence in most mental health institutions across America, they earned a bad reputation being known as snake pits and got national attention. In October of 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed his last piece of legislation, which was meant to free thousands of patients from the unspeakable living conditions they endured in institutions. President Kennedy’s vision was to give these mentally disabled people their dignity, along with more humane care, and offer actual therapy. Unfortunately, President Kennedy was unable to see the bill through and help it along some of the more difficult obstacles it faced because he was assassinated a short three weeks after its signing. Although Kennedy’s bill changed the mental health industry significantly, only half of the community treatment centers were built due to funding issues. Waukesha County opened the doors to its mental health center in 1989 taking in the people with mental health issues and unruly behavior. To get a better
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