Evaluating the Implementation of Community Mental Health Care
With respect to the increasing number of beds and the overcrowding of mental hospitals in many countries in the middle of the century, attempts to avoid long stays in hospital became a major goal among reformers of the mental health care system. The attempt of reducing patient populations was based on a profound dissatisfaction with the conditions and effects of mental hospitals. As a result, several countries with very high bed rates showed a significant decline (HÄFNER and KLUG, 1982), whereas at the same time the number of admissions has continued to rise. In the beginning, the developments of community alternatives to inpatient treatment were prompted more by political and economic considerations than by any planned treatment strategies. Comprehensive services to the mentally ill in the community have been justified for a variety of reasons, ranging from the clinical-humanitarian to the fiscal-political. Although this broad array of rationales was useful initially, continuation must be justified in terms of benefits that they produce. Fiscal appropriations may be ultimately determined by political or other criteria, data about effectiveness of services are vital for continued funding.
KeywordsSchizophrenic Patient Community Mental Health Psychiatric Hospital Mental Hospital Community Mental Health Service
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