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Community Care for Those with a Mental Health Disability - Essay Example

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An essay "Community Care for Those with a Mental Health Disability" will discuss the Community Care efforts being made especially focusing endeavors made in the United Kingdom. The article starts with the historical review of the mentally ill people and the social attitude towards them…
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Community Care for Those with a Mental Health Disability
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Community Care for Those with a Mental Health Disability

As a result, some families hide their mentally ill people away, imprisoning them in homes in miserable conditions. One major reason for this attitude is the enormous cost associated with the care of such people. It is one of the most devastating afflictions know to mankind. More than 450 million people around the world suffer from some kind of mental or behavioral disorder (Encarta, 2005). Mental illness goes alarmingly undermined, untreated and misunderstood. Difficulties in diagnoses, as well as cultural stigmas, contribute to the widening gap between the problem and the resources devoted to it. Researchers who study the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), estimate that mental illness accounts for 11.5 % of the total global burden, and the numbers are growing. (http:/world.org) Thus, making mental disability a serious issue in today's world. In the 18th century, many unique and shocking methods were adopted, such as gyrating chair and collapsing bridges, which would plunge the patient in the icy water unexpectedly. The rationale behind such methods was that these frightening experiences would restore their sanity. Other treatments included making mental patient frightened and thereby improving their behavior through submission, as it was believed it will cure their mental illness. At that time the physicians became interested lunacy portrayed mentally ill individuals as having lost their reason making them lesser kind of human beings. As a result, their status was degraded to animal level and doctors at that time were convinced that disabled people are insensitive to pain and torture. These patients were often cramped and enchained in small cells. In 1808 the County Asylums Act allowed to build asylums for mentally ill people and remove them from prisons and workhouses. Similar kinds of asylums were built in Norwich, Nottingham, and Bedfordshire. In 1825, a series of lectures by Alexander Morison was published, which for the first time recognized mental illness as a disease. In the following years, Morison developed an extensive care system for mentally disabled people. In 1832, the Madhouses Act was established, which appointed Lord Chancellor as custodian of the property of the lunatics. The function of the Lunacy Commission was to construct a network of asylums and monitor and regulate all the relief efforts in such centers. However, the mentally ill people in Scotland were suffering as described by Earl Shaftesbury. As a result, the Lunacy and Asylums Bill Scotland was also passed in 1857. However, by the end of 19th century, people were convinced that insanity was incurable and a large number of mentally ill people were sent to asylums to protect society from their harm. At the same time, the alternative treatment for mental patients was provided by small religious groups, such as Quakers, who collected funds and donation and formed Mental Retreat, where these patients could be treated in general and kind manner. Rather than considering them beasts and wild, lunatics were considered as confused children who need care and support. It was not until the mid-1960's that silence broke in the UK, and the Royal Commission in 1957, for the first time, considered mental illness as a "physical illness".  ... Read More
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