De institutionalization

Essay by melissaknottCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2008

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What has been the impact of deinstitutionalization on the local community in your article?The impact of deinstitutionalization within the local community has been lower medical costs and more room in the hospitals. This also meant patients would no longer be required to do labor, such as sweep floors or do laundry for little money. There would also be room for more staff and bigger budgets. Mental health care would become cheaper, which in some cases is untrue. Deinstitutionalization has caused the crime rates to go up along with the number of homeless people. People can walk to their car or the subway and see people sleeping on the streets or babbling incoherently to themselves, which can be intimidating. When people see these mentally ill people they are afraid and unsure of what they might do. Some people will even retaliate when they see homeless people thinking they might hurt them first.

How is the local community dealing with the problems that arise due to deinstitutionalization such as homelessness, crime, and the spread of communicable diseases?Many mentally ill patients would be released due to deinstitutionalization but the problem is where they would go from there. “Some former patients went home to their families, some to nursing homes, where almost a million mentally ill Americans now live. Some ended up in board-and-care homes, welfare hotels and on the streets” (For Many Mentally Ill, 1984). There were a number of people who did not have anywhere to go and would become homeless with no medical care. Some commit crimes and are sent to jail or prison, which can cost more than a stay at the mental hospital. “In 1999, the Legislature finally funded pilot projects in Stanislaus, Los Angeles and Sacramento counties that offered comprehensive treatment for the mentally ill” (State of Neglect,