The Impact Of Closing Psychiatric Hospitals

Long-term psychiatric care facilities have slowly gone away over the past 60 years or so, especially in the past 10 years, as the government worked towards deinstitutionalization. 

Dominic Sisti is the director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania.

He said, "State hospitals began to realize that individuals who were there probably could do well in the community.  It was well-intended, but what I believe happened over the past 50 years is that there's been such an evaporation of psychiatric therapeutic spaces that now we lack a sufficient number of psychiatric beds."

Sisti continued, "Many times individuals who really do require intensive psychiatric care find themselves homeless or more and more in prison.  Much of our mental health care now for individuals with serious mental illness has been shifted to correctional facilities."

Read the full story at NPR

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