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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

State mental hospitals were closed to give people with mental illness greater freedom

but it increased the risk they’d get no care at all.

By The Spotlight Team
The Boston Globe
Originally posted August 28, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

The result is a system that’s defined more by its gaps and gross inadequacies than by its successes — severely underfunded, largely uncoordinated, often unreliable, and, at times, startlingly unsafe. It is a system that prizes independence for people with mental illness but often ignores the accompanying risks to public safety. A system that puts blind belief in the power of antipsychotic drugs and immense trust in even the very sickest to take them willingly. A system that too often leaves people in mental health crisis with nowhere to turn.

It was never supposed to be this way. President Kennedy and his allies recognized the grim state of America’s mental institutions — which at their peak housed nearly 560,000 people — and promised a robust, humane system of community-based treatment in their place.

The article is here.