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The concept of deinstitutionalisation can be explained as the process of replacing long stay for psychiatric treatment in mental hospitals having less isolated community mental health services offered to the mental patients. This particular concept has been embedded in form of a government policy that subsequently helped the mentally unwell patients out of state operated mental asylum and keeping them into federally funded community mental health centres. The initiation of deinstitutionalization became effective from 1960 opening new avenues for the benefits of mentally unwell patients. an insight into the statically data reveal that during the time span of 1955-1994 about 487,000 mental patients were discharged from state hospitals and by 2010 about 43,000 psychiatric beds were available (The Balance, 2014).
The reason behind the emergence of deinstitutionalization can be visible in the societal and scientific alterations that were incident. The invention of psychiatric drugs like Thorazine and Clozapine contributed immensely to this issue (BARKER, 2010). Furthermore the change in social perception those mentally ill individuals should not be locked rather should be treated also significantly helped deinstitutionalization to make its place in the present society. The advent of federal funding options like Medicaid and Medicare offered funding to the mental health community centres rather than mental hospitals (Aldrich, 2010).
However according to the article published in ‘Psychology Today’ the process of deinstitutionalization has been aligned with mass murders. In light of the research performed by forensic psychologists the individuals who were the victims of mass murders were mental patients reflecting paranoid, narcissistic and schizoid traits. However this issue is still on a verge of controversy (Psychology Today, 2014).
An insight into the challenges of deinstitutionalization it is observed that this process significantly contributed in offering a better quality life for the mentally ill population and also lowered the requirement of psychotropic drugs. However it is also a fact that the mentally ill patients following deinstitutionalization became major victims of isolation and society is scared to of accepting them (Savy, 2015). Hence as a negative outcome of deinstitutionalization were the cases of incarceration of mentally ill people. Hence it can be assumed that deinstitutionalization on one side provide freedom to the mentally ill individual bout on the other side was unable to solve their lodging issues (Kliewer, 2014).
Citing the example of commonwealth nations like Australia it is evident that the process of deinstitutionalisation has posed significant impact on the recovery framework aligning with mental health. This country’s national mental health strategy was formulated in 1992 that emphasized on implementing certain structural alternant in the service delivery system. Also Australia having a federal system of administration obtained direct funding for providing mental health services (Shera and Ramon, 2013). Important to add that the advent of deinstitutionalisation has contributed in emanating the state level government policies that further reflected practices of prohibiting social inclusion and health discrimination. The long stay in hospitals by the mental patients was also reduced significantly (Nizette and McAllister, 2012).
The example of Australia’s 2 potential mental health plans namely ‘the Second national mental health plan’ and ‘the National mental health plan 2003-2008’ can be considered that has given priority towards accommodating mental health services into general healthcare system. Essential to convey that this approach has enabled to embed reformed services and introduced new standards for mental health professionals (Meadows et al., 2012).
As a positive impact of deinstitutionalization on the existing mental healthcare system of Australia it can be highlighted that promotion of faster mental recovery, reducing stigma and enhance potential for early identification and treatment offering greater degree of equality has been achieved. Furthermore this issue has also contributed enormously in promoting sustainable mental health recovery along with providing certain support services like employment opportunities , accommodation and education to the people in need (Gee, McGarty and Banfield, 2015).
The advent and acceptance of deinstitutionalization within the mental recovery system of Australia has also contributed in embedding new directions for integration recovery. This comprise of increasing consumer capacity by implementing self-help, self-care, training and gradually establishing advocacy. However it should be added that the increasing the literacy level in order to fill the gaps in terms of competency has also emerged as a key issue to be considered. The example of national institute for clinical excellence can be cited in this respect. However considering the influence of deinstitutionalization the Australian recovery framework has given more emphasis on performing recovery oriented practices motivating to abandon the ‘sick-role’ and embed self-management’ tendency with the mentally ill patients by strengthening their natural support system (Zhang et al., 2016).
Another key issue that can be aligned with the deinstitutionalization phenomena is an alteration in the mode of consumer involvement with respect to planning and delivery of mental health services. Citing the example of Australia it is evident that consumer participation was remarkably increased reflecting a theme ‘strengthening quality’. The example of consumer and carer participation policy drafted under the national consumer and Carer form 2005 can be highlighted that focused in ensuring maximum possible Consumer involvement. Therefore on a summative note it can be stated that the advent of deinstitutionalisation has produced a positive impact on the issues related with consumer involvement. The next national policy framed in this context is evident to focus on both recovery and consumer oriented (Shera and Ramon, 2013).
Another key aspect in association with deinstitutionalization is the emergence of a new culture of management wherein the recovery based performance measures aligned with economic factors. Hence the formation of consumer and clinician-trend measurement system developed an effective surveillance system exerting positive effect on the mental health of the affected Australian population (Psychology.org.au, 2017).
To conclude it can be state that providing mental healthcare service embeds a duty of care wherein it is essential for the care providers to offer a quality living standard for the mentally sick population. The advent of deinstitutionalisation hence is effective in removing the traditional perception of the general population towards the individual suffering from mental ailments. However the reducing in hospital stay can be considered as one of the most positive outcomes of emergence of deinstitutionalization in Australia.
Aldrich, C. (2010). Deinstitutionalization. 1st ed.
BARKER, S. (2010). Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing - The Craft of Caring, Second Edition. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 17(6), pp.565-566.
Gee, A., McGarty, C. and Banfield, M. (2015). Barriers to genuine consumer and carer participation from the perspectives of Australian systemic mental health advocates. Journal of Mental Health, 25(3), pp.231-237.
Kliewer, S. (2014). Deinstitutionalization: Its Impact on Community Mental Health Centers and the Seriously Mentally Ill. The Alabama Counseling Association Journal, [online] 35(1). Available at:http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ875402.pdf.
Meadows, G., Farhall, J., Fossey, E., Grigg, M. and Singh, B. (2012). Mental Health in Australia. 1st ed. Sydney: Oxford University Press.
Nizette, D. and McAllister, M. (2012). Stories in mental health. 1st ed. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier Australia.
Psychology Today. (2014). Seven Myths of Mass Murder. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-forensic-files/201404/seven-myths-mass-murder [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].
Psychology.org.au. (2017). Australian Psychological Society : Public community mental health management of adult psychotic disorders: Evolving models and roles for psychologists. [online] Available at: https://www.psychology.org.au/Content.aspx?ID=5098 [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].
Savy, P. (2015). Closing asylums for the mentally ill. 1st ed. Sydney [N.S.W.]: Content Management.
Shera, W. and Ramon, S. (2013). Challenges in the Implementation of Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Policies and Services. International Journal of Mental Health, 42(2), pp.17-42.
The Balance. (2014). What Is the Real Cause of Mass Shootings Today?. [online] Available at: https://www.thebalance.com/deinstitutionalization-3306067 [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].
Zhang, X., Japee, S., Safiullah, Z., Mlynaryk, N. and Ungerleider, L. (2016). A Normalization Framework for Emotional Attention. PLOS Biology, 14(11), p.e1002578.