The Community Mental Health Act Of 1963

1064 WordsMar 12, 20175 Pages
The Community Mental Health Act of 1963, was the first federal law that inspired community-based mental health care, and it ignited the transformation of the public mental health system (Young Minds Advocacy, 2016). Other names of the Act are Mental Retardation and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963. It was the beginning of the Deinstitutionalized movement in mental health treatment options for children, youth, and adults (National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH), 2015). States received money from grants, from the Community Mental Health Act for the construction of these mental health centers. Initially, the intention of the grant program was to provide 1500 mental health centers nationally (Young Minds…show more content…
Institutional care was condemned, as in many cases patients’ mental conditions deteriorated, and institutions were not able to treat the individual in a holistic manner. In many state institutions, patients numerously outnumbered the poorly trained staff. Many patients were boarded in these facilities for extensive periods of time without receiving any services. By 1963, the average stay for an individual with a diagnosis of schizophrenia was eleven years. As the media and newspapers publicized the inhumane conditions that existed in many psychiatric hospitals, awareness grew and there was much public pressure to create improved treatment options (Young Minds Advocacy, 2016). . In an effort to transform the public mental health system, in 1963, President Kennedy proposed the Community Mental Health Act. It was the first among several federal initiatives to create a community mental health care system. Once the act was ratified, there was an intense deterioration in institutionalization, otherwise known as “deinstitutionalization”, and by 1980 there was a 75% declined of the inpatient population at many public psychiatric hospitals. In 2000, there was less than 10% of the public institutionalized just fifty years earlier. In 2009, there was even a more dramatic shift among children and adolescence whereby there was a 98% decline in
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