The Scope Of Mental Illness Essay

1161 Words Jun 29th, 2015 null Page
The scope of mental illness has changed drastically in the last 50 years. The dramatic changes have affected both the systems of care for those with mental illness and how that care is financed. There have been huge advancements made in the study of the brain, which allows us to better understand what mental illness really is and what we can do about it. However, all of these advancements have surprisingly have not drastically improved the lives of those with mental illness. We now possess far more knowledge than 50 years ago, but society’s institutions have not made strides to better accommodate the mentally ill. According to the Surgeon General 's Report on Mental Illness, it is estimated that in an average one-year period, 22 to 23 percent of the U.S. adult population—or 44 million people—have diagnosable mental disorders. Today, only 60% of severely mentally ill persons receive treatment in a given year, leaving approximately 2.2 million severely mentally ill persons untreated. In 1957 mental health care was normally provided by large state hospitals and institutions (Anderson & Cannova, n.d.). Pharmaceutical treatment of mental illness was just emerging and affordable community based mental health system did not exist. Patients were sent off to these institutions, often for years at a time. Families could care for their family members at home, however as urbanization increased, this became less feasible. These state run institutions were seen as humane alternatives to…

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