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Privatization and the Rise and Fall of the Public Mental Health Safety Net

Privatization and the Rise and Fall of the Public Mental Health Safety Net Administration and Policy in Mental Health Vol. 26, No. 3, January 1999 OPINION When not neglecting or jailing them, American states have attempted in various methods and degrees to provide care for persons with mental illnesses. Throughout our history the states have developed policies providing a safety net of basic clinical services for those persons with severe and persistent mental illness who could not purchase (or whose families could not provide) needed care. Our level of commitment has varied dramatically depending on political and economic factors. The nature of the safety net has been shaped by the level of treatment technology availWilliam Schnapp, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and is Chairperson of the Mental Health Needs Council. Spencer Bayles, M.D., is a psychiatrist with over 40 years experience in the public and private mental health systems. Paul Raffoul, Ph.D., is Associate Dean at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston. Steven Schnee, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, TX. Address for correspondence: William B. Schnapp, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical School, Mental Sciences Institute, 1300 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research Springer Journals

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