The Post War World II Era Essay

1560 Words Nov 1st, 2016 7 Pages
The Post-War World II era saw the start of a transformation in the attitudes toward and the treatment of mental illness in the United States that was most significantly marked by the passing of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963 (CMHA: Public Law 88-164). The Community Mental Health Act––passed under President John F. Kennedy’s administration and notable innitiative––was revolutionary in proposing the implementation of two novel concepts that largely contributed to the deinstitutionalization of those with mental illnesses. First, the act called for federal investment and spending in funding of mental health services; prior to its passing, mental health funding had been the domain of the states and local governments almost entirely. Additionally, it sought to focus on prevention of mental illness and the integration of institutionalized individuals back into their communities by releasing them from long-stay psychiatric state hospitals and providing them with community-based health care. Federal level involvement and the move away from state hospitals as a nation was new territory.
The origins of the act and these ideas were motivated by countless variables that include, but are not limited to, the introduction of psychotic drugs, the rise of the mental health lobby, the post-war economic climate, increased public awareness of state hospital conditions, etc. These factors united public opinion, academia, and public policy and law under a common rhetoric that worked to…

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