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The Legend and Lessons of Geel, Belgium: A 1500-Year-Old Legend, a 21st-Century Model

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Abstract

Geel, Belgium, is the home of a legendary system of foster family care for the mentally ill. The current status of Geel's modern system of integrated community care and the 700-year history of this system (including the 10-year-long, international, multi-disciplinary Geel Research Project) are described. As a case study, Geel offers a microcosmic encapsulation of major issues related to mental illness. Though these issues have been dealt with across time and in all places, here they are contained in a single community. This is a case study that can help other communities to identify significant factors that contribute to successful community mental health programs.

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Correspondence to Jackie L. Goldstein.

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Goldstein, J.L., Godemont, M.M.L. The Legend and Lessons of Geel, Belgium: A 1500-Year-Old Legend, a 21st-Century Model. Community Ment Health J 39, 441–458 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025813003347

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