Schizophrenics Returning to the Community: A Study of Past and Present Perceptions of Living Patterns Held by Six Former Mental Patients Now Living in Fountain House Foundation Apartments, Manhattan, 1965
At the present time, it is no exaggeration to observe that the major problem in the field of mental illness is not the hospitalized, but the formerly hospitalized patient. Recently released statistics show that fewer hospital beds are being used by mental patients. In part, this is due to the fact that the length of hospital stay for each patient has decreased; people are leaving the hospital sooner and returning to the community. This might be seen as a great achievement in the field of mental health, however one cannot be misled for long, for the statistics also tell us 2 that readmission rates have increased to a great degree. What does this mean? The author believes we must look to the community for the answer. Perhaps the problem has just been transferred from the mental hospital to the community. Is the community meeting the needs of these people in the existing programs of rehabilitation? Is it giving too much or not enough? Is it returning them to a useful place in society, or is it fostering isolation, loneliness and "apartness”? Many of us in social work feel that the community has not fully met its responsibility in helping the formerly hospitalized patient to restore and rebuild his life. This is pointed out most tragically in the case of the long-term hospitalized patient, who may have spent the last fifteen years outside of the community; away from his family and friends. In many cases, he could have come out ten years earlier if there was a place for him in the community.
Formichelli, Marilou A, "Schizophrenics Returning to the Community: A Study of Past and Present Perceptions of Living Patterns Held by Six Former Mental Patients Now Living in Fountain House Foundation Apartments, Manhattan, 1965" (1965). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30308754.