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Caring for Persons with Serious Mental Illness: Policy and Practice Suggestions.

  • Author(s): Segal, Steven P;
  • Riley, Sharon
  • et al.

This article places evidenced-based knowledge of practice within the social context of care and proposes five policy objectives and specific policy and program changes to address care needs of people with serious mental illness. In spite of demonstration programs that provide the basis for proposed policy initiatives throughout the United States, treatment provision for this population remains inadequate and their safety and well-being continues to be at risk. The authors suggest that treatment initiatives need to be tied to stable policies protecting the mentally ill from adverse social context changes. The authors conclude that policies are needed that will enhance housing assistance, independent social functioning, personal empowerment, and treatment engagement. In addition, efforts are needed to make better use of inpatient hospital care, to better understand the role of assisted treatment, and to better develop consistent long-term fiscal support for the seriously mentally ill. They offer specific policy recommendations for changes in HUD programs, Medicaid and Medicare funding, and treatment programming that address these needs.

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