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Though much has changed in society since 1963, the vision of a comprehensive mental health care system is still an important one.In addition to outpatient services, individuals experiencing mental health conditions deserve access to adequate inpatient care, supported housing, family therapy, and addiction services, as well as supported employment programs.
Each year, an estimated 590,000 Americans, who would be receiving mental health care in a better system, fall through the cracks.
With increased budgets, people would have more access to care and be less likely to end up in emergency rooms, jails and prisons, homeless shelters, on the streets, or worse.
Furthermore, many who need treatment and actually receive it will likely recover completely or be able to control symptoms enough to contribute to the economy by returning to work or by volunteering their time or services.
Although we’ve come a long way since the 18th century, the mental health system in America today is seriously flawed and in desperate need of attention.
If you talk to someone about how mental health care was performed in the past, he or she might scoff at the poor “treatment” some people received at mental institutions that were often indistinguishable from prisons.