The Mental Health Service Act

1949 Words8 Pages
Mental health illnesses have been around since interrelated relationships have been present in society. The treatment of this illness has evolved immensely throughout history. Early on, those who were mentally ill were demonized and thought to be an all mighty evil, which had the ability to be passed on to others. Due to this ideology, many people shunned, and banished those who were thought to be mentally handicapped. In order to protect society from these “beasts” many people imprisoned mentally ill individuals and were stripped of the ability to live their lives. Fortunately, as society progressed and different ways of treating the mentally ill were established through scientific advancements. Along with these advances, treatment for…show more content…
Mental illness dates back to the 1800’s. Most who were determined to have a mental illness were placed in prisons, or chambers to protect society as they were seen as wild and dangerous. There was no real change to the treatment of mentally ill individuals until Dorothea Dix, a schoolteacher and American activist, began a movement to change the way the mentally ill were seen and treated in society. Centers, or institutions were built to reside mentally ill individuals to fully care and provide treatment for them. Unfortunately, many of these institutions were closed down due to improper care of the patients by the staff, an uneven staff to client ratio, and the institutions were underfunded. Society began to realize that this particular population was unable to fully care for themselves as many of those who were deinstitutionalized from the institutions were left homeless, broke and untreated. An individual, Clifford Beers, who experienced first hand the abuse and maltreatment of those who were institutionalized, sparked a mental health reform movement with an autobiography, A Mind That Found Itself, which tells about the time he spent within the institution. His autobiography began the movement towards many historic Acts that would help
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