Deinstitutionalization Case Study

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There are 150 homeless people housed in the Central Iowa Shelter in the summer, and 400 cram into the same space to escape the cold in the winter months. 33% of homeless people have a severe mental illness as well, which adds to, if not initiates, their hardships (Homeless Mentally Ill par. 1). I once encountered one of these people at a soup kitchen. The man was very open about his mental illness and his positive experience in a mental hospital. Unfortunately, the mental hospital was shut down, and he was forced onto the streets, relying on soup kitchens to survive. His case is not rare by any means; in an act known as deinstitutionalization, mental hospitals are shut down across the nation in the name of producing revenue. Deinstitutionalization …show more content…
Rather than following a path of independence that is hoped for after deinstitutionalization, many patients are trans-institutionalized (Sheth par. 3). Once a mental hospital is shut down, the mentally ill may be transferred to another facility that takes over their care. Nursing homes and general hospitals take in the most patients, although they do not specialize in mental health. The increase in responsibility distracts from the facility’s other patients, resulting in a maldistribution of care. It is impractical for care facilities to pick up the slack of others, especially when they are inexperienced in that care. The nurses and attendants do not know how to properly manage the mentally ill or administer their medication. In turn, the patients receive subpar care, and their health subsequently declines. Additionally, because they require medication and therapy, the facility must cover the expenses. For a general hospital, the daily cost of one room is roughly $200, which is far more than that of a mental hospital (Deinstitutionalization par. 8). Therefore, the revenue raised through deinstitutionalization is drained back directly into supporting the mentally ill again. A care facility that is not even designated for the mentally ill should not be forced to assume the mental hospital’s role; the added responsibility muddles the facility’s purpose and negatively impacts all …show more content…
The mentally ill do not make very desirable tenements, so finding shelter outside a hospital setting is difficult. In some cases, patients may choose to live with their family for assistance and support, although this route presents its own hardships as well. The patient’s family is heavily burdened with responsibility, as it is no easy task to care for the mentally ill. Additionally, the family may not have the financial means or the expert care found in a mental hospital. Consequently, the mentally ill suffer from an absence of professional care. There is another option, however; some patients choose the other route of living on their own, primarily in a small apartment. While this environment adheres to deinstitutionalization’s goal of freedom, the mentally ill still require much assistance just to acquire an apartment. With apt services, a patient may find a suitable apartment and begin living in it. It is from that point, though, that the patient is neglected and forced to survive on one’s own. Without the necessities of medication and therapy offered to them in a mental hospital, their progress rapidly unravels. In a mental hospital, an average day for the mentally ill runs smoothly with well-trained therapists and nurses to tend to them. A patient functions on routine and discipline along with medication and therapy to tame their mental illness. On the other hand, life outside the mental hospital is a brutal

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