Forces that propelled deinstitutionalization
Explain the forces that propelled deinstitutionalization
The Forces that Propelled Deinstitutionalization
Where there are settlements, there are bound to be some people who are mentally challenged. These individuals are usually put in a mental hospital. Before the early 1950s, metal institutions in the U.S. were state-owned. In 1954 health systems in the country run a program that was aimed at moving mentally disabled people from state-run institutions to federally-funded mental hospitals (Pinger & Seabert, 2018). This is known as deinstitutionalization. Several factors propelled this as discussed in the following sections.
Support from President Kennedy fuelled Federal policy changes that saw funding for mentally ill individuals redirected to community-based mental health institutions, and not mental hospitals as was the case in earlier years (Pinger & Seabert, 2018). This helped the community-based mental institutions to expand due to an influx of resources from the government.
There was growing public concern on the state of the state mental conditions. Staff in the mental hospitals mishandled the patients and some were treated inhumanely. The level of care given to the patients was questionable (Pinger & Seabert, 2018). It was evident that new methods of caring for those with mental illness were inevitable. Deinstitutionalization saw the mentally ill gain more rights. It was widely agreed upon that the patients should be treated, and not locked away from society.
From an economic standpoint, deinstitutionalization was a viable venture for the government. It was trying to find more cost-effective methods of running hospitals against its constantly rising operation expenses and costs (Pinger & Seabert, 2018). Because this policy involved transferring patients from a more restrictive to a less restrictive setup, it saw patients transferred back to their homes as well as community mental health centers. This not only saw the care given to the mentally ill improve, but it also reduced government expenditure since there were a lower number of patients in state hospitals.
At the time, treatment options available for psychotic episodes were electroshock therapy and lobotomy. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Thorazine to be used by patients with psychosis (Pinger & Seabert, 2018). This created a way for mentally ill individuals to take the medication while they are in less restrictive environments such as at home. More psychiatric drugs were developed and approved for use for mental health problems.
Pinger, R. R., & Seabert, D. (2018). An introduction to community & public health. Jones & Bartlett Learning.