Dorothea Dix Deinstitutionalization

1424 Words 6 Pages
Noelle Albert
1 May 2015
AP Lang- P5
Mrs. Rose
Deinstitutionalization Draft That man with a cardboard sign standing on the median; the one who clings to his bike, coasting down Main Street with dozens of plastic bags hung precariously from its handlebars; those huddled under garbage bags on park benches to keep warm in the frigid winter air; families who drag themselves to soup kitchens as a last resort to avoid starvation. Common sights like these bring about curiosity and pity and blame. That person must have failed at some juncture in their life without having the will and the strength to recover. At least this is how the majority of modern society would see these people, without giving a second thought to how they may have found themselves
…show more content…
After visiting a jail in Boston to teach a Sunday school, she was appalled by the inhumane confinement of mentally ill patients she discovered, and thereafter was a well known proponent of the rights and safety of mentally ill individuals. Dix, having lobbied on state and federal levels, was able to increase support and fundings for her cause and eventually establish 32 mental hospitals across the United States (). The introduction of these facilities was intended to be a haven for the mentally ill members of society, a stepping stone for their rights and protection in society, but it rapidly turned into a foreboding …show more content…
The development of the antipsychotic drug Thorazine in 1954 relieved a wide range of symptoms for innumerous mental patients across the country pushing the public to accept the potential and encourage the progress of the institutionalized Americans. The Mental Health Study Act of 1955 called for the “objective, thorough, nationwide analysis and reevaluation of the human and economic problem of mental health.” President Kennedy’s signing of the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act in 1963, which allowed the National Institute of Mental Health to create community-based mental health facilities, helped provide a course of prevention, early treatment, and ongoing care to mental health patients. It gave patients the option to be closer to their families and integrate into society. By 1977, only 650 of these community centers had been opened, serving some 1.9 million mentally ill Americans, or about half of the mentally ill population at the time. As a direct result of this policy of Deinstitutionalization, 487,000 mentally ill patients were released from institutions, leaving only about 72,000 asylum residents across the United

Related Documents