The goal of this project is to prepare a third volume covering the evolution of mental health policy in the United States since 1940 (two previous published volumes covered the period before 1940). The volume will emphasize in particular the experiences of the chronic mentaly ill as state mental hospitals lost their central position as a result of the """"""""deinstitutionalization movement during and after the 1950s (although in many cases """"""""deinstitutionalization"""""""" meant a transfer of patients from mental hospitals to chronic nursing homes); efforts to create alternative systems of community care; the role of psychiatry, allied mental health occupations, and the social and behavioral sciences; the creation of a mental health lobby and competing pressure groups and the setting of particular agendas; regional differences in care and treatment; the influence of a political structure that divided authority and responsibility between state and federal governments; the debate over administration and financing of mental health services; and the influence of such external factors a prosperity, war, recession, and inflation. Particular attention will be paid to the circumstances that led to the adoption of certain policies after 1940, and how circumstances modified them in such a way that the outcome diverged sharply from the original goals. In brief, the basic objective will be to place current issues in the mental health field within a meaningful and informed historical framework. While utilizing standard historical research methodologies, this study will also employ a crossdisciplinary approach by incorporating the findings and methodologies of other social science and related psychiatric and medical disciplines.
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|Grob, G N (1985) The origins of American psychiatric epidemiology. Am J Public Health 75:229-36|