Mental Health Services in the U.S.

Mental health care has become a larger part of the health care system in America as psychiatric care has moved from the institutional, inpatient model to the outpatient, community care model in the last fifty years. Managed care, coming from the state and community levels, arrived in the late 1970s as deregulation brought the closure of hundreds of mental hospitals and residential clinics. People who suffer significant mental illness are no longer warehoused out of society for years on end; instead they remain in society, live by themselves and go to work if they can.

The rise of psychotropic medications and antidepressants such as Prozac brought changes in mental health care as well. The combination of medications and short, focused psychotherapy replaced Freudian psychoanalysis as the method of treatment. Treatment programs became generic and aimed at helping the greater number of patients, and this mainstreamed the mental health care paradigm further. As republican governments continued to turn over sections of the health care industry over to state agencies, state governments and communities scrambled to keep up with the flow of patients needing mental health care.

This often left many people in need out of the picture, suddenly placed on the streets with a handful of dollars and a bus pass, without the coping mechanisms necessary to make it on their own, which in turn led many into crime to obtain essentials and then into the criminal justice system instead of the health care system. Massive deinstitutionalization in the 1970s and 1980s, well before communities had organized reasonable community services, contributed to neglect of people with mental illnesses and homelessness. Gaps in mental health services continue.

The move to neurosciences inexorably pulled the focus onto keeping people in society and adhering to treatment plans, which included taking daily medications. Unfortunately this exposed the problem of how to provide care for people without health insurance, as Medicaid became the largest provider of mental health services for low-income people, not all of whom qualify for Medicaid coverage. With states shifting an increasing proportion of their mental health budgets onto Medicaid, fewer state funds are available to provide services for low-income, uninsured people with serious mental illnesses who are not eligible for Medicaid.

As a new employee hired by a small local hospital as an Administrative Assistant, I have been assigned the task of gathering information for the department head that would help develop a plan to place mentally ill patients in the …

If anyone were to take a look at The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th edition, (DSM IV), they would discover that nearly every human being could relate to “symptoms” required for some form of mental disorder. The …

This is another important factor that determines why people are less likely to seek mental health treatment. The high costs of treatment, coupled with lack of insurance, exacerbate the emotional burden that mental health patients bear. According to a report, …

What do you believe will be the future of mental health services. In your answer, discuss some of the public perceptions surrounding mental illness and access to care in the United States and the importance of health service administrators in …

I. General Description Modern mental health services have, and continue to experience ongoing changes throughout the United States. Rapidly fading away are the days of long-term hospitalizations and institutional based systems of care (Breakey, 1996). As Dr. George Paulson, MD …

Due to budget pressures at the local and state levels, gaps in services are growing larger as more Americans are obliged to seek treatment at community care centers, often after waiting for a length of time to be seen. Shortages …

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