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Social class and treatment in Burnaby Mental Health Centre Felker, Melvyn B.

Abstract

Concern about mental health is on the increase in North America. Increased concern necessitated the provision of more treatment facilities for mental illness. For this reason, research is being conducted in the mental health field. This study is the first undertaken in Canada, in an attempt to investigate a possible relationship between social class and mental illness. The study focussed on social class and treatment in a mental health setting at the Mental Health Centre, Burnaby, and comparisons were made with studies done in the United States. Data were made available through the B. C. Department of Vital Statistics. These data were collected at the Mental Health Centre, Adult Clinic, Burnaby from April 1, 1959 to March 31, 1964. As the data were not collected by the researchers, there are limitations which are discussed in the study. Of the total number of persons seen at the Adult Clinic, 1231 were given treatment and terminated during this five year period. These were the subjects of this study. The findings reveal no significant relationship between social class and the kind of treatment, or, between social class and the length of treatment. However, the findings do indicate that diagnosis is related to both social class and assignment of a therapist.

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