SOC331: Social Justice and Ethics
April 9, 2012
If anyone were to take a look at The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th edition, (DSM IV), they would discover that nearly every human being could relate to “symptoms” required for some form of mental disorder. The need for effective mental health services in this country is essential, not only for general society, but also within the criminal justice system. These days it seems that more and more people are being diagnosed with some form of mental disorder or disability. It’s important that those who provide mental health services be properly trained and certified so as to provide the best possible care and treatment for those who suffer from mental health disorders and disabilities.
The history of mental health services is quite extensive. In 1773 the first hospital for the mentally ill in the US opened in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1840 there were only eight “asylums for the insane” in the United States. Dorothea Dix crusaded for the establishment or enlargement of 32 mental hospitals, and transfer of those with mental illness from almshouses and jails. The first attempt to measure the extent of mental illness and mental retardation in the United States occurred with the U.S. Census of 1840, which included the category “insane and idiotic.” The “mental hygiene” movement began in 1900. Clifford Beers, a mental health consumer shocked readers with a graphic account of hospital conditions in his famous book, The Mind That Found Itself. Inspection of immigrants at Ellis Island included screening to detect the “mentally disturbed and retarded”. The high incidence of mental disorders among immigrants prompted public recognition of mental illness as a national health problem.
In 1930, The US Public Health Service (PHS) established the Narcotics Division, later named the Division of Mental Hygiene,... [continues]
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