ERIC Number: ED338998
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Lives in the Shadows: Some of the Costs and Consequences of a "Non-System" of Care.
Diamond, Pamela M.; Schnee, Steven B.
This report focuses on repeat users of multiple community services who, because of their tendency to move in and out of mental health clinics, jails, and hospitals, are referred to as "revolving door clients." It notes that the costs of providing services to these individuals are staggering and that this population consumes a vast amount of the resources available through a community's human service delivery systems. A study is described that followed 21 homeless men in a southwestern city to trace their coping styles and strategies for survival, and that documented the cost in public funds and staff time required to provide for these men. It is noted that the subjects, chosen by the city police department because they had been arrested frequently on misdemeanor charges due to chemical use and presented a substantial risk of potential violence in the community, either to themselves or to others, were followed for 2.5 years, as investigators attempted to identify the different agencies that the men used. Many current practices for dealing with multiple-problem chronic individuals are examined and communities and states are encouraged to reexamine present methods and introduce changes in dealing with this crisis most cost-effectively. The report concludes that a system of care is needed that specifically addresses the multidimensional needs of this group of high-risk individuals. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.