Navigation Links
Mental Health Advocates and Community Providers Support Allentown State Hospital Closing

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The mental health advocacy and provider communities in Pennsylvania support the decision by the PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to close Allentown State Hospital (ASH), an institution for people who have mental illnesses.  

Up to 125 people from ASH and Wernersville State Hospital (WeSH) will return to communities of their choice, and up to 65 will transfer from ASH to WeSH.  Although it would be ideal if every person was discharged to the community, mental health advocates and providers endorse DPW's decision, as it will enable the reintegration of approximately 125 people into the community and support community-based recovery and the development of recovery services that work.

"Having been a psychiatric patient myself, both in the community and a state hospital, I have experienced the full spectrum of treatment," said Pennsylvania resident Dan Craig.  "I learned to participate in the community and form relationships by living in the community. Having mental illness symptoms doesn't limit the possibilities of anyone's life.  Everyone is capable of holding jobs, volunteering, being a member of a church, synagogue, mosque or temple, participating politically, or going back to school.  These are all things that build our society, and enhance everyone's quality of life. Recovery is possible for everyone!"

"We have evidence that people living with mental illness are best served in supportive communities," said Judy Banks, deputy director of the Disability Rights Network of PA (DRN). "Recovery comes from living in small, integrated community settings with individualized supports, not from institutionalization.  We want this reality for every person who currently is in a state hospital and the closure of ASH is another step toward achieving that goal."

The importance of community integration to the recovery of people with serious mental illnesses has been endorsed by such experts as the Office of the Surgeon General (in its 1999 report, "Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General") and by the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in its 2003 report.

Advocates point to the recent closings of three state hospitals as examples of the benefits of community integration.

  • In December 2008, Mayview State Hospital (MHS) closed, discharging individuals from Allegheny, Beaver, Lawrence, and Washington Counties to their communities, where they continue to receive regular, individualized, tailored supports around behavioral health, housing, employment, education, social activities, and physical health. A year later, a majority of those discharged into the community continue to reside in community-based residences.
  • Harrisburg State Hospital (HSH) closed in January 2006, with 187 of the 289 discharged individuals moving into the community. In a report issued one year later, the overwhelming majority of these residents remained in their communities thanks to ongoing, community-based care and services.  
  • In 1990 Philadelphia State Hospital (PSH) closed its doors. Five years later, a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the overwhelming majority of those released at closure were living successfully in the community.

"Successful closures were made possible because the funding that supported the hospitals followed the individuals into the community to enhance the community based system of services and supports" said George Kimes, executive director of Pennsylvania Community Providers Association (PCPA). "It is essential that the resources supporting ASH move into the community."

"Individuals experience success after hospitalization when mental health professionals and communities are responsive to their unique strengths and needs," said Lynn Keltz, executive director of PA Mental Health Consumers' Association (PMHCA). "PMHCA encourages self determination with strong peer support and recovery oriented treatment."

"For someone who has never been in an institution, the stark contrast between community and institutional life is difficult to imagine," said Sue Walther, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania (MHAPA).  "But those who have can attest to the fact that people with even the most serious mental illnesses, including those with the least relief from their symptoms, can be served much more effectively in the community than within the walls of a state institution."

Pennsylvania statewide organizations that support the decision to close the state hospital include MHAPA, PMHCA, and DRN and PCPA.  

SOURCE Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania

SOURCE Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
2. College Mental Health Expert and Sister of Student Who Died By Suicide Available to Discuss College Mental Health Issues
3. HHS Announces $75 Million in Supplemental Funding to States for Pandemic Flu Preparedness
4. Virginia Tech Review Panel Calls For Reform of Mental Health Treatment Law
5. Therap Services Continues to Hire Experienced Developmental Disability Industry Clinicians for its Customer Support Team
6. The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Expected to Draw 10,000 Walkers and Raise $1 Million to Help Find Answers About the Nations Fastest-Growing Developmental Disorder
7. How Best to Treat Preschoolers With ADHD? The Harvard Mental Health Letter Discusses the Options
8. Experimental Antidepressants Offer Faster Relief
9. Environmental stress probed in cardiovascular disease, diabetes
10. UCLA receives $22.5 million to explore the fundamental biology of mental disorders
11. Mental Health Woes Strike Half of Cancer Patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 02, 2015 , ... ... Gastrointestinal events and association with initiation of treatment for osteoporosis ”. , As ... of pharmacological treatment in patients diagnosed with osteoporosis. Based on a large US ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an ... groups has filed a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human ... Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Houston, TX (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... owner of Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, has been named by MedEsthetics magazine as the Best ... best of the best among the many elite aesthetic physicians honored by the industry ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015—Since ... improvements in scientific research and discoveries, leading us to better understand the disease’s ... to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform edition of “World AIDS Day” provides ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of ... often catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)...  Athletic apparel company Tommie Copper , ... $1.35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges ... clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain and ... Tommie Copper,s proposed settlement with ... founder and chairman Thomas Kallish to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , 1 de diciembre de 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... para cuchillas de precisión, develó hoy un ... identidad de marca. El nuevo logo destaca ... y la ingeniería de productos con cuchillas ... ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... PUNE, India , December 1, 2015 ... to a new market research report "Nucleic Acid Labeling ... Techniques (PCR, Nick Translation, Random Primer, In Vitro Transcription, ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, The global market is ... USD 1,271.8 Million in 2015, growing at a CAGR ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: