The Mental Health Care System Essay

1113 words - 5 pages

As years pass, the mental health care system becomes overwhelmed with increasing number of patients and new difficulties arise. According to the 2004 United States Census, one in four adults suffer from diagnosable mental illnesses in a given year. The vast number of new patients triggers overpopulation in both emergency rooms and county jails, which is extremely concerning. When hospitals experience such numbers proper care and treatment is scarce. In order to ensure the mentally ill places in a facility where appropriate care is available; many steps need to transpire, such as understanding what mental illness is, the history of the health care system, treatment, and funding.
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The care of such patients moved numerous times from inpatient mental hospitals to outpatient care in community health centers. The founding of the National Institute of Mental Health provides new psychiatric medications, which were used in mental state hospitals in 1955. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy proposed the Community Mental Health Centers Act, which accelerated the deinstitutionalization trend, when “fewer people reside as patients in mental hospitals and fewer mental health treatments are delivered in public hospitals” (2010). This process represents the evolution in practice, purpose, and structure of the mental health care in the United States. Deinstitutionalization portrays the decreased need for hospital care and incorporates new psychiatric medicines. It turned into a more liberal and humane treatment in the mental illness community-based settings and changed from longer inpatients care to shorter outpatient care. Sadly “the process of deinstitutionalization, combined with the scarcity of community-based care, is also associated with the visible problems of homelessness. Between 30-50% of homeless people in the United States are people with mental illness, and people with mental illness are disproportionate among the homeless” (2010). Not only is the history of health care important to understand, but the treatments and facilities available to patients is important to research on understanding where a mentally ill patient can receive the best treatment.
It is important to understand the treatments and facilities available to mentally ill patients, and the funding offered to pay for such treatment. The advance in technology and knowledge available allows more people to receive treatment outside the institutional setting. Health care professionals who provide mental health care sometimes integrate with other specialties, so treatment and other necessities are limited. Separating mental health care from physical health care is detrimental to a mental illness patient because “the mind and body are not separate entities” (Weld, 2010), where a patient can experience psychiatric symptoms because of a medical problem. This problem can be missed if psychiatric problems treat separately from medical problems. Many patients who suffer from severe mental illness are likely to have poor physical health and poor hygiene. This is based on patients not having a primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. People who have a mental illness need to seek into having a primary care doctor and also a psychiatrist because only having one or the...

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