ERIC Number: ED305549
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Current Issues in Mental Health Law.
Kanter, Arlene S.
The development of mental health law has been rapid. Courts have recognized new rights and have taken away others. For institutionalized individuals, the exact parameters of the right to treatment and community placement and to refuse medication have begun to be clarified. Yet lack of resources as well as prejudice continue to prevent people with mental illnesses from being truly integrated into our society. In short, the issue of the rights and services to which people are entitled is likely to continue as a major battleground in the years ahead. Yet, as the history of the development of mental health law shows, courts have the potential to become significant players in the effort to develop community-care systems which provide decent conditions for people with mental illness. But it remains for expatients, consumers, family members, health care professionals, lawyers and other advocates to work together to fulfill that potential. One of the greatest challenges is to identify and implement strategies that will expand the availability of effective and quality community services and decent and low-cost housing. Failure to do so may result in either a return to the days of large custodial institutions or the reality of people left to live and die on the streets of our nation's cities. (ABL)
Descriptors: Community Services, Deinstitutionalization (of Disabled), Government Role, Laws, Legal Responsibility, Mental Health, Mental Health Programs, Self Determination, Trend Analysis
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-7998.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.