Community Life for the Mentally Ill: An Alternative to Institutional Care

Overview

Community Life for the Mentally Ill presents a social innovative experiment aimed at providing new and more participating social positions in American society for mental patients. It presents the events that occurred when a courageous group of former chronic mental patients abruptly left a hospital and established their own autonomous sub-society in a large, metropolitan area.

In order to complete this experiment, the patients created a small society in the community where ...

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Overview

Community Life for the Mentally Ill presents a social innovative experiment aimed at providing new and more participating social positions in American society for mental patients. It presents the events that occurred when a courageous group of former chronic mental patients abruptly left a hospital and established their own autonomous sub-society in a large, metropolitan area.

In order to complete this experiment, the patients created a small society in the community where discharged patients could live and work. Others evaluated the effects of the newly created society upon the behavior and perceptions of its members, which is also presented here. Both the descriptive and comparative aspects of this study are presented as they occurred in real life. The book is concerned with the medical, economic, sociological, and psychological facets of these former patients' daily lives. The effects of this small society upon the neighborhood and city in which it was located, as well as its effects upon professional persons, are richly explored.

Clearly defining a radical departure from standard methods for treating the mentally ill, the authors conclude that such an autonomous society can thrive in the appropriate setting; the ex-patient's chances of employment are increased and the chance of recidivism are reduced; the member's self-esteem is enhanced; treatment costs are greatly reduced; the community adjustment of all members is increased, especially among those who have been hospitalized for a long period. With new guidelines for identifying danger zones in urban settings, this becomes a critical work.

George W. Fairweather was professor of psychology at Michigan State University and is author of Methods for Experimental Social Innovation and Social Psychology in Treating Mental Illness. David H. Sanders was professor of psychology and psychiatry at Michigan State University. He has also been a research associate at Stanford University. David L. Cressler and Hugo Maynard were professors of psychology at Portland State University. They have also been research associates at Stanford University.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Community Life for the Mentally Ill: An Alternative to Institutional Care is part description, part report, part evaluation, and part special plea on behalf of certain assumptions or principles in the management of marginal men and societal rejects… [T]his volume will contribute significantly—both theoretically and practically—to the innovation of different and more effective treatment settings.” —Simon Dinitz, Journal of Health and Social Behavior “This book is a comprehensive report on research… to test the proposition that autonomy in the proper communal arrangement will sustain the expatient in the community.” —Irwin D. Rinder, American Sociological Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780202362137
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
The Social Innovative Experiment
Overview of the Experiment     3
Social Status and Mental Illness     9
Planning and Implementing the Project     22
Evolution of an Autonomous Society in the Community
The Era of Maximum Professional Supervision     45
A Governing Body Emerges     70
The Attempt at Self-Government     88
Autonomy at Last     101
Interchange with the Surrounding Community
The Socioeconomic Environment of the Lodge     129
Social Exchange with the Community     149
Relations with the University     167
Medical Care for the Members     183
Comparison of the Community Environments
The Community Adjustment of Lodge Members     199
The Effect of Volunteering and Chronicity on Community Adjustment     238
The Relationship between the Social Situation and Treatment Criteria     262
Group Processes in the Hospital and Community Social Subsystems     278
Implications for Innovative Research with the Mentally Ill and Other Marginal Groups
Staff and Patient Views of Innovative Hospital and Community Treatment Programs     305
Operating Principles for Community Treatment Subsystems     321
A Recurrent Social Problem: Changing the Social Status of MarginalMan     337
Index     351

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