Overcoming Barriers to Community Integration for People with Mental Illness
The landmark 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. held that unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in institutions is a form of discrimination that violates the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The decision highlighted the need for states to provide community-based services to meet the needs of all individuals who can benefit from living in the community.
To this end, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Coalition to Promote Community-Based Care for people with a history or a diagnosis of serious mental illness (hereafter referred to as “people with serious mental illnesses”). SAMHSA’s National Coalition will promote the development of statewide coalitions and will provide technical assistance and training to the state groups.
In particular, the National Coalition has been charged with examining the characteristics and service needs of those individuals with serious mental illnesses who are inappropriately hospitalized or at risk of psychiatric hospitalization; delineating the barriers to serving these individuals in the community; and exploring strategies to ensure their successful transition to community living. This report outlines some of the barriers and strategies that National Coalition members will review. (Advocates for Human Potential)
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