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UBC Theses and Dissertations

After-care problems of the discharged mental hospital patient : a trend report on recent literature and its implications for practice. Orno, Anne Marie Ellen Harriet Birgitta Inger


This study takes the form of a critical review of recent research on the problems of the discharged mental hospital patient. Its principal objectives may be stated as follows: (1) to delineate the difficulties faced by the ex-patient in his attempts to re-adjust to life in the open community and maintain a satisfactory level of mental health; (2) to summarize the main trends in recent social and medical research on the nature and source of these difficulties, and to specify their implications for the tasks of community mental health planning; and (3) to examine the question of the proper role of social workers in the context of research and practice alike, in this field of mental health services. A study of this kind acquires especial timeliness from the fact that the number of mental hospital patients discharged to the community in recent years, who would formerly have required long-term or permanent hospitalization, has been increasing in an unprecedented way. This development is attributed primarily to the rapid growth in the use of chemo-therapeutic techniques. The main findings of the study are, first, that - although there is ample scope for their skilled and specialized participation - social workers have so far played little part, and taken little initiative, in the developments under review; and, secondly, that the many changes now taking place in the treatment of mental illness (particularly on an out-patient basis) will require extensive and radical modifications in the training, the therapeutic orientations and the role relations of the mental health professions.

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