America started a grand experiment in the 1960s: deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. The consequences were very destructive: homelessness; a degradation of urban life; increases in violent crime rates; increasing death rates for the mentally ill.
My Brother Ron tells the story of deinstitutionalization from two points of view: what happened to the author's older brother, part of the first generation of those who became mentally ill after deinstitutionalization, and a detailed history of how and why America went down this path.
My Brother Ron examines the multiple strands that came together to create the perfect storm that was deinstitutionalization: a well-meaning concern about the poor conditions of many state mental hospitals; a giddy optimism by the psychiatric profession in the ability of new drugs to cure the mentally ill; a rigid ideological approach to due process that ignored that the beneficiaries would end up starving to death or dying of exposure.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
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It's not a topic you'd immediately think would hold much interest - a history of how the US has handled mental illness over its history, and the reasons and effects of the post-sixties deinstitutionalization craze. But you'd be surprised. It's well written, well researched, and help together by reminiscences of the authors own experiences dealing with mental illness in his own family.