“Why did we close all the mental hospitals?
Because mental hospitals in the USA were every bit as abusive as they were in the USSR. Political gadflies were committed and then lobotomized in the USA, sick f*ck families like the Kennedy’s had their rebellious members lobotomized, mental patients were raped, beaten, and killed and they had absolutely no rights and no one to turn to in order to fight such abuse.
Despite decades of failed ‘reform’ efforts these abuses continued into the early 1970’s when the majority of these asylums were closed and their patients released to other forms of care or, sadly, some also sought the freedom of the streets.
These days the standard for involuntary committment to a mental hospital is extremely high and patients have access to legal counsel much the same way accused criminals do and this has put an end to much of the abuse. As bad as the current system may be, I’d not want to go back to what we used to have where sunzabit*hes like Joseph Kennedy could have his spirited daughter Kathleen lobotomized simply for the fact that he was powerful and she didn’t want to be controlled by him.
False dichotomy. The mental hospitals are not staffed by murderers and rapists. Mental treatment requires a range of options including commitment and that should be high on the list for someone who belongs there or in jail.
Great comment. But that was not the only driving force. Several years ago commercial insurance carriers basic policy generally allocated approximately $25,000 per year for in-patient treatment. Some physicians would hospitalize patients and once their benefits were exhausted after a very short period of time, they would immediately discharge them with little follow-up because outpatient benefits were extremely limited. Flagrant misuse of Medicaid benefits, at least in Texas, were extensive and lots of kiddos were hospitalized for treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder for several days and then discharged, most with no visible improvement. A few doctors made a whole lot of money until this was shut down. I also remember many years ago that people who had issues such as mental retardation, Downs Syndrome or severe learning disabilities were shuttled off to state institutions where they remained, some for their entire life. There is relatively no easy, inexpensive or long term care for many people who suffer from such illnesses such as paranoid schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder.