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Lecture 1

PSYCH 127A Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Deinstitutionalisation, Health Literacy


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 127A
Professor
Repetti Rena
Lecture
1

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What is the role of mental health in the issue?
At least 400,000 inmates in the US have some form of mental
illness
25-40% of all mentally ill Americans will be jailed/incarcerated at
some point in their lives
Many arrested for minor offenses and crimes of survival - theft for
food or supplies, breaking and entering to find a place to sleep,
drug possession to self medicate
Chains of decisions by local officials can determine whether those
with mental illnesses end up in jail
Lack of funding and federal support --> closure of mental health
hospitals and community clinics --> lose access to treatment -->
increased incarceration rates
What are the different perspectives on the issue?
What is currently being done about the problem? Is it working?
New correctional officers receive 60 hours of advanced mental
illness treatment training
Cook County does mental health screenings before hearings and
suggests alternatives to the court
Prison doctors try to set up appointments at community mental
health clinics for released inmates but appointments are backed up
so they aren't getting the medication or treatment they need
Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that prisons are constitutionally
required to provide adequate medical care to inmates
No national mental health system --> responsibility of the state
National Mental Health Act (1946) passed after veterans returned
from WWII, established NIMH and provided research funding
Psychopharmacology allowed outpatient treatment
Mental Health Study Act (1955) established joint commission to
evaluate nation's mental health policy and propose reforms
Shift away from state run mental hospitals to a new model of
treatment --> Community Mental Health Act -->
deinstitutionalization, shift to community based facilities
Proposed by JFK
Mostly failed due to lack of federal funding
Many institutions shut down and there was no funding to
build community based clinics
People need to travel further to get medication/therapy -->
not getting access to mental health care they need -->
mental incarceration cycle
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