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Community Mental Health Centers Act

  • By: Victor B. Stolberg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The Community Mental Health Centers Act grew out of the movement to improve the treatment for the mentally ill, which expanded to include those with alcohol and other drug problems. It reversed over a century of federal nonsupport for mental health services exemplified by the 1854 vetoing of the Indigent Insane Bill by President Franklin Pierce. From then until the middle of the 1950s the public psychiatric asylum movement grew to serve as the dominant societal response to mental illness. In 1955 Congress passed the Mental Health Study Act, which led to the establishment of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Mental Health; the Commission issued a set of recommendations that served as the basis for the subsequent 1963 act. The intent was to ...

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