posted on Dec, 24 2012 @ 02:28 PM
It has been down hill from this point to today. The mental health laws need to change.
During the early 1960s a series of initiatives designed to reform the mental health system were passed. At issue was the system of state run hospitals
for the mentally ill, which were increasingly perceived as inhumane and, with the help of new medications, rather unnecessary for large portions of
the patient population. In 1961, the Joint Commission on Mental Illness released Action for Mental Health, calling for the integration of the mentally
ill into the general public with the aid of Community Mental Health Centers. In 1963, the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health
Centers instituted the centers, but due to the financial drain of the Vietnam War during the 1960s and the financial crisis of the 1970s, the program
was not fully funded. 1 The result was the release of patients into an environment lacking the Community Mental Health Centers to adequately treat
them (Becker and Schulberg, 1976; DeLeonardis and Mauri, 1992; Hollingsworth, 1994; Rachlin, 1974; Rachlin et al, 1975; Saathoff et al, 1992; Shwed,
1978, 1980; Talbott, 1992; Worley and Lowery, 1988.
By the start of the Carter administration in 1977, involuntary commitment had been restricted to those who were deemed as potentially dangerous to
themselves or, perhaps more significantly, those around them. 2 Typically, the commitment had to be sponsored by a family member and/or ordered by the
court. A result of this policy was that the mentally ill patient who refused treatment typically did not receive any at all. If the patient had lost
contact with family members, she or he would not be committed unless found to be a threat by the court. Often, those arrested ended up in jail rather
than in treatment if they had not been found to be a threat but had committed a crime (Abramson, 1972; Conrad and Schneider, 1980). One result was a
high degree of stress and frustration experienced by the relatives of the patient. Throughout the 1970s, family members organized with the purpose of
correcting a policy that they perceived was wrong.