Worlds of the Mentally Ill: How Deinstitutionalization Works in the City

Worlds of the Mentally Ill: How Deinstitutionalization Works in the City

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Worlds of the Mentally Ill: How Deinstitutionalization Works in the City by Dan A. Lewis, Stephanie Riger, Helen Rosenberg, Hendrik Wagenaar

Lewis offers a radically different perspective on care of the mentally ill now that these patients are no longer isolated from society.

This book is based on a series of interviews conducted with 313 Chicago area patients released from four different state hospitals. Rather than rely on retrospective data-gathering on patients at intake, Lewis began at the time of release, tracking the patients for 12 months during which they were interviewed twice. This approach permitted Lewis and his researchers to discover where the patients went, whom they turned to for help, how they viewed themselves and their illness, and how they fared.

Former patients who had lost their homes and support networks by alienating families and employers ended up on the streets and eventually in jail. Half of the patients interviewed had criminal records, a third of them having committed felonies. Of the former patients who returned to mental institutions, 97 percent did so voluntarily. One-fifth of those recommitted themselves because they lacked jobs and housing.

Lewis says the government can help by providing more welfare funding, medication aid, support to patients’ families, and homeless shelters with qualified counselors. "If we don’t do anything about the poverty, we can’t do anything about the mental illness. We must tie work and welfare to treatment settings."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809314775
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 12/21/1990
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Senior author Dan A. Lewis is Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and Research Faculty at the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern.

Stephanie Riger is Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Helen Rosenberg is doing research at Thresholds, Inc., in Chicago.

Hendrik Wagenaar is a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston.

Arthur J. Lurigio is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago.

Susan Reed is a Research Associate at the Center for Urban Affairs at Northwestern.

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