Community mental health (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders)
Community mental health is a decentralized pattern of mental health, mental health care, or other services for people with mental illnesses. Community-based care is designed to supplement and decrease the need for more costly inpatient mental health care delivered in hospitals. Community mental health care may be more accessible and responsive to local needs because it is based in a variety of community settings rather than aggregating and isolating patients and patient care in central hospitals. Community mental health assessment, which has grown into a science called psychiatric epidemiology, is a field of research measuring rates of mental disorder upon which mental health care systems can be developed and evaluated.
Community mental health centers
In the United States, a modern increase in community mental health care delivery began in the 1960s when President John F. Kennedy signed the 1963 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) Act (Public Law #88-164). Growing community mental health capacities were intended to complement and mirror trends toward fewer hospital stays and shorter visits for mental illness (see Deinstitutionalization). This restructuring of mental health service delivery has occurred in the context of evolving...
(The entire section is 963 words.)
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