chapter  5
18 Pages

Mental Health

ByDouglas R. Mackintosh

This chapter examines the progress being made toward more efficient use of mental health resources and more humane treatment of the large numbers of people in need of psychiatric assistance. The history of mental health services is quite different from that of other kinds of health services: progress in patient care for mental disorders has been social, administrative, and legal rather than clinical. Not much happened in the mental health services until after World War II, when the large number of soldiers who returned from the war in a state of shock rekindled the public's interest in mental health. Sociologists and hospital superintendents began to propose more patientself-government, less institutional dependency, and more bonds with families and the surrounding community. Patients at private mental hospitals are usually referred by their private physician; at the state hospital, in contrast, the courts, social agencies, and the public are the main sources of referral.