By Robert A. Dorwart, Sherrie S. Epstein
Effective and compassionate mental health policy in the U.S., or its absence, has long fueled the outrage of those who have understood the wretched conditions so often visited on the mentally ill. Dorwart and Epstein consider the evolution of the nation's approach to the issues relating to mental health care policy. They offer a highly informative historical review, setting the context and background for the analysis of economic, quality of care, and other critical issues relating to the formation of policy. They explore the movement toward institutionalization and later toward deinstitutionalization and from public care and public costs to increasing privatization. They urge that the mental health system be viewed in the context of two other systems--health care and social services.