In 8 pages this paper discusses Massachusetts' community care programs and how schools for mentally disabled persons may be phased out by the state.
Name of Research Paper File: JL5_JLmoscov.rtf
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of the major issues under debate in reference to policies concerned with mental health is the most appropriate way to care for and provide the maximum opportunities for those with
mental illness and mental disabilities. Policy-makers have had to take into account not only the special requirements of those with illness and disability, but also the needs of the community
at large, and as a result there has been considerable discussion as to whether residential institutions, such as state schools, are the most appropriate form of care or whether the
health and social services systems should be moving towards a far greater level of care within the community.
On the one hand, it is acknowledged that there are some individuals whose level of disability is such that they will never be able
to function within the community as a whole, requiring as they do continuous care and support. On the other hand, it is also noted that many individuals who have the
potential to interact successfully in the community, provided they receive consistent support, have in the past been institutionalised even though such a treatment policy was not the best option for
them. In common with other regions, Massachusetts is currently looking towards ways in which policies relating to those with mental illness and mental disabilities may be improved in order to
afford maximum benefit to both the individuals themselves, and society as a whole.
Beyer (2002) makes the significant point that whatever official policies are put into place, it must always be remembered that there is an element of individual choice to be taken