The State of Mental Health Has Improved But Still Faces Challenges
The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 (ADA) and the Olmstead Decision in 1999 established community integration as a right of people with psychiatric disabilities. Since then, greater attention has been paid to the facilitating the ability of people with psychiatric disabilities to fully engage in meaningful activities in their communities. However, as any person in recovery and mental health professional knows, there is still a long way to go.
Mark Salzer is the Director of the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders. The Collaborative is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) whose research focuses on what kinds of things support people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression to live in their communities like everyone else. Salzer has recently given a presentation on Brainshark.com regarding the State of Mental Health in America.
As Salzer explains in the presentation, the numbers of people living in state mental hospitals and institutions has decreased dramatically—from just under 370,000 in 1969 to just over 41,000 in 2011. “However, while more people with mental illnesses are now living in the community… they are not of the community like everyone else.”
“We want to know what are the supports and interventions that help people, and what are the barriers that keep people from participating in those areas, and how do we overcome those barriers,” he points out. “What’s supportive of people living in the community, working in the community, going to college, dating, voting, volunteering, leisure, recreations, spirituality, religion, any area of participation?”
Training mental health professionals is key to facilitating recovery and community inclusion for people with psychiatric disabilities. “To be a frontline mental health professional, you need training that is grounded in recovery and community inclusion philosophy,” Salzer says.
Well-trained staff will be one of the cornerstones of quality mental health treatment. The DirectCourse/College of Recovery and Community Inclusion (CRCI) curriculum has been shaped by this philosophy. The CRCI content is developed by both national and international experts, and be updated frequently, based on best practices, and accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Professor Salzer’s State of Mental Health Address on Brainshark: http://www.brainshark.com/elsevierCDS/vu?pi=119204599
For more information on the DirectCourse/College of Recovery and Community Inclusion, please visit: http://directcourseonline.com/recoveryandcommunityinclusion/
For more information about the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities: http://tucollaborative.org/
For more information about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, please visit: http://www.ada.gov/
For more information about the Olmstead decision, please visit: http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/olmstead_about.htm