Jfk Mental Health Case

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In 1963, President John F. Kennedy (JFK) signed into law the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963 (CMHCA). The law was intended to deinstitutionalize patients from mental health hospitals and demonstrate a compromise between public health and medical practice models (Cameron, 1989). The law offered States financial incentives to build community-based outpatient centers to replace hospitals (Cameron, 1989). Due to the complexity of public health and treatment, the law has been revised numerous times since its implementation (Mental Health Commission Report, 2003).
During the law’s development period, the United States housed over 559,000 mentally ill patients in state-mandated hospitals (Dowdall, 1999). Many hospitals were cited for violation of regulations and inhumane conditions in which patients were living. During the 1950’s, new antipsychotic drugs was introduced that produced an effective rate of mental health stabilization for patients (Torrey, 1997). The public view of the mentally ill had changed from “incurable” and “inhumane” to “curable” and human beings with rights, who were not “different” than other “normal” individuals (Rochefort, 1993). The National Institution of Mental Health (NIMH) advocated along with
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Investing in the individual’s treatment, rehabilitative services, housing, and case management services which allow the individual to become a part of society by contributing, being creative, employable, and independent. The government will reduce cost as well, by reducing the revolving doors of hospitals and prisons. The America’s Law Enforcement and Mental Health Act (H.R. 2594), which has provision to establish ' Mental Health Courts' in order to direct nonviolent mentally ill offenders out of jail, into long term treatment

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