The Development Of Mental Health Policy Essays

2009 Words Mar 18th, 2016 null Page
In the United States, one of the largest and most disenfranchised minority populations is the disabled population. This population includes those with physical disabilities such as amputees and those suffering from chronic arthritis as well as those with mental disabilities such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Bipolar Disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that, “26.2 percent of Americans ages eighteen and older- about one in four adults- suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.” (Nimh.gov) Mental health policy has developed throughout American history in order to promote the overall wellbeing of those who are considered to be a member of this particular population. The fight for equal opportunity in employment and access to resources has long since been a social justice issue for people suffering from these “hidden” mental illnesses. The focus of this paper will surround the development of mental health policy throughout our nation’s history up to the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The historical analysis leading up to the establishment of the ADA will help identify persons of influence as well as policies that worked and those that didn’t.
The History of Mental Health Policy in the United States of America
Before the Americans with Disabilities Act, there were several attempts at developing effective legislation with regards to mental health policy. Dating back to the colonial era, mental illness…

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