What's Needed Next: A New Federal Office of Mental Health Policy

By Frank, Richard G.; Glied, Sherry A. | The American Prospect, July-August 2008 | Go to article overview

What's Needed Next: A New Federal Office of Mental Health Policy


Frank, Richard G., Glied, Sherry A., The American Prospect


In 1963, President Kennedy challenged the nation to transform the lives of people with mental illnesses. The Kennedy family had first-hand experience with the pain of mental disabilities and their treatments. The president's sister Rosemary experienced long confinements in mental institutions and was treated with a lobotomy. His views surely shaped by the ordeal, Kennedy imagined a society that would no longer warehouse people with serious illnesses in state mental hospitals and would instead provide them with the services and supports that would allow them to live in and be part of their communities.

Forty-five years later, the lives of people with mental illness have indeed changed dramatically. Most live independently or with their families and receive treatment in their communities. Two generations of advocacy have vastly expanded the legal rights of people with mental illness to direct their own care. Growth in a number of key social programs since 1963--from Medicaid to Social Security Disability Insurance to Section 811 Supportive Housing--has also been a boon to this population, providing people with a range of resources that make living in the community possible. Although these changes in living conditions followed a rather different path than President Kennedy had anticipated, the changes he hoped for have, in large measure, occurred.

But the restructuring of mental-health care in America has hardly been a complete success. The waning of the state hospital, a "total institution" that addressed all the needs of the institutionalized population, has provided people with the opportunity to live lives more similar to those of most Americans--but it has also left a vulnerable population reliant on an array of fragmented and uncoordinated programs addressing income support, health insurance, human services, and housing. There are far too many opportunities for people to fall between the cracks. An important minority of people with mental illness has been "trans-institutionalized" into jails and prisons or left homeless on the streets. The mainstream programs that serve this group are often miserably underfunded, administratively impenetrable, and unprepared to address the distinct needs of this population.

While the organization and financing of mental-health care has been revolutionized, no parallel shift in administration and policy-making has occurred. Forty-five years ago, people with mental illness depended heavily on hospitals operated by state mental-health authorities, whose distinctive competency and authority was this population. Today, people with mental illness rely on a range of mainstream public insurance and social service programs that are administered by the federal government or operated by the states within the confines of rules established by the federal government. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What's Needed Next: A New Federal Office of Mental Health Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.