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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Impact of Welfare Reform as Perceived by Users of Mental Health Services in New York City
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A total of 118 psychiatric outpatients, 43 percent of whom were foreign born, completed a 12-item questionnaire about the impact of the new federal welfare legislation. A majority of respondents were worried about the new law and believed that it would worsen their mental symptoms, their well-being, and the quality of life in their neighborhood. Nearly half felt that the law had already affected their mental symptoms. Foreign-born patients were significantly more worried about the law than U.S.-born patients. The results suggest that organized psychiatry and individual psychiatrists should become more involved in activities to diminish the impact of the welfare legislation on patients and their families. (Author)
Psychiatric Services