PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HANDICAPS. The Government’s policy is to encourage the development at local level of a wide range of health, social and other services for mentally handicapped people and their families through mutual co-operation and collaboration between health and local authorities and voluntary and other organizations.
Social services authorities make arrangements for a wide range of support services for people with mental handicaps and their families. These include short-term care, support for families in their own homes, provision for accommodation in ordinary housing and a variety of types of day care. The principle aims of the services are to help ensure that as far as possible people of all ages with mental handicaps can lead full lives in their own communities and that no person should be admitted to hospital unless it is absolutely necessary on health ground.
Although social services authorities are likely to play an increasingly important role, specialized residential health provision, which may consist of small units in the community, is appropriate for people with special needs, as is specialist health service support for those in other settings.
A continuing priority is to transfer mentally handicapped children in institutional care to more ordinary living arrangements.
MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE. Arrangements made by social services authorities for providing preventive and after care for mentally ill people in the community include day centers as well as social centers and a variety of residential care. Social workers help patients and their families to deal with social and family problems arising from mental illness and in certain circumstances can make an application for a mentally disordered person’s compulsory admission to and detention in hospital. The rights of compulsorily detained patients were extended by legislation in 1983, and a Mental Health Act Commission was set up to provide better safeguards. Corresponding legislation was introduced for Scotland in 1984, although the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland was first established in 1962. Similar legislation came into force in Northern Ireland in 1986.
An important role in provision of services for both of these groups of people is played by the many voluntary organizations concerned with mental illness and mental handicap.
In July 1989 the Government announced a number of measures to improve the provision of services for mentally ill people. These include requiring district health authorities to have individually tailored health care programmes for all patients discharged from hospital; a new specific grand to local authorities to help them meet the social care needs of such patients; a code of practice for compulsorily admitting and treating patients in hospital; and a review of public funding of voluntary organizations concerned with mental health.
Read the following words and define their meanings.