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Authors

Glass

Abstract

This paper discusses the use of court-imposed standards for public mental hospitals as a method of improving public mental health services. The standards set out in Wyatt v. Stickney are examined, and the author concludes that if implemented nationally such standards would transform the public hospitals. In addition, implementation would alter the power structure of mental health workers, effect the allocation of state and federal funds, and influence the larger system of mental health services. Socio-economic characteristics of public mental hospital patients, and an assessment of present care in this system are presented as central issues in mental health policy and planning.

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