Essay On Mental Health

2662 Words6 Pages

The field of mental health care in the United States is relatively new and has changed dramatically over the years. It was once believed that mental illness was the result of being possessed by a demonic spirit. We now know that psychopathologies are the result of a mixture of many things including abnormalities of chemicals in the brain plus the influences of our environment and daily experiences. We may never fully understand how the mind works. It has been a challenge determining the most appropriate and most effective way to treat people with mental illness. This has resulted in the mental health care system making many mistakes and wrong judgements in its development. The issue of care for the mentally ill is a very important one since according to the National Institute of Mental Health, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.” (“Numbers Count”, n.d) As professionals learn more about the brain and the mentally ill, the care will continue to progress and improve. The origins of mental health care in America began in the 17th century in colonial Virginia. The matter of managing how the insane were taken care of became a problem that had to be addressed. The method of diagnosing someone as insane was determined by twelve citizens that had to state under oath that the person in question was in fact insane. (Wacksman, 2003) Labeling someone as insane gave them some certain exemptions from the law but they were not provided with much care or assistance to deal with their illness. The mentally disordered at that time relied on care from their family, but those without caretakers were left to deal with their illness on th... ... middle of paper ... ... care that is not being provided to them due to this push for more acute care hospitalizations. Many patients are hospitalized numerous times with no signs of improvement. (Flory, 1999) Deinstitutionalization has been more beneficial to the developmentally disabled population than to the mentally ill. People with DD get more funding from the government and better residential treatment centers. The mentally ill are often left to fend for themselves. As the country continues to treat the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled there will need to be serious changes to the way things are run. With an abundance of new knowledge, there has been great advancement since the first hospitals were founded. The mental health care system has learned from its mistakes and is doing its best to correct them to the best of their ability with the allocated funds given to them.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the field of mental health care in the united states is relatively new and has changed dramatically over the years.
  • Explains the origins of mental health care in america in the 17th century in colonial virginia. the first hospital exclusively for the mentally ill was the eastern state mental hospital in williamsburg,
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