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The Evolution of Mental Health Care Policy and the Implications for Social Work
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The focus of this article is on the evolution of mental health care policy in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. To the extent that social work practice enacts policy, this article focuses particularly on the ways 20th century social workers have reflected, interpreted, and forged mental health care initiatives and reforms. The article includes a discussion of how the cycles of mental health reform (moral treatment, mental hygiene, and community mental health) have influenced not only the roles but also the actual practices of social workers. The article concludes with a consideration of the impact of managed care on mental health policy and the implications for social work. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services