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Tracy L. Hawthorne
Wayne State University - SW 3710
Professor Lori Klein-Shapiro
March 29, 2015

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This paper will describe it is up us to choose who will speak for the voiceless and make
careful decisions about things that will affect Michigan as a whole. Additionally, we will come to
understand that discrimination does not come in the form of color, and that it has taken many
different forms, and even affects the mentally ill. Mental illness causes a domino effect in the
correctional institutions and costing taxpayer money, my paper shows services that were already
created should be expanded to protect the mentally ill. Also, this paper will introduce the
historical view of mental health treatment and its origins of the first case identified.
The paper will compare earlier and modern day mental health treatment. The paper will
explain the difference among the present and historical definition of mental health. The paper
will explain how the mental health treatment problem has changed over time. Furthermore, it
will define the social stigma, discrimination and/or societal prejudices of mental health treatment
and its effect on policy solutions and definitions. The paper discusses my personal belief of
mental illness and what I think the causes of the problems are. Lastly, how does the treatment of
this issue related to Social Work values and ethics?
The Social Welfare Issue/Problem, Impact, Demographics, And Population Affects
In 1997, Governor John Engler made a decision to close psychiatric hospitals with James
Haveman; the director of Michigan Department of Community Health. The two in agreement
with him standing by his side began a closing process of institutions. Many jobs were lost in
1997 as sixteen psychiatric hospitals closed their doors. On September 23, 2014 it was a top
story on channel 7Action news, how Governor Engler close the gates to the mental hospital back
in 1997 because "it was too expensive” (Jones, 2014). However, 17 years later the wreckage of
Governor Engler’s decision has become the problem of different community health care
providers. Housing the mentally ill has now become the responsibility of cities. In some cases,

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the problem led to filling the jails cells, up because the mentally ill were being arrested for
trespass or disorderly conduct.
However, the people who became repeat offenders are often in need of medical attention,
but they keep falling into the jail system, which leaves one to wonder if law enforcement the new
mental health facilities. “In 2002 one inmate been arrested 57 times spending 806 days in prison
costing taxpayer more than $132,990. In Wayne County alone 3,082 mentally ill patients since
2009 has been repeating defender who should have been place in a mental treatment center
where they can receive proper medication. Have costing taxpayer $94,217.475 a year and where
928 has been locked up over ten times”(Jones, Mullen, Brewster, 2004). However, The
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines discrimination as the practice of unfairly treating a person
or group of people differently from other people or groups of people, the ability to recognize the
difference between things that are of good quality and those that are not, the ability to understand
that one thing is different from another thing (Merriam n.d). We need to understand mental
illness also takes on many forms and that it is no different from any other disease, and a person
needs to seek treatment from a doctor.
However, everyone gets better when help is available, and someone is giving love or
support. When one’s thinking process is affected, it creates challenges, which causes feelings
interfering with their behavior, which further disrupts their life. In the health profession, mental
illness is broken down into different groups. This may be due to the fact that society, in general,
has stereotyped views about mental disease. The word discriminated take on many different
forms ending in the result to causing pain. A child has no control over being born into this world
of discrimination and prejudice where they may fall under persecution because they were born
with mental illness.

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People who experience the stigma and judgment of their condition just because society
does not does not understand makes it hard for the mentally ill to recover. Society views
individuals with this type of illness as people who are violent, dangerous, attacking people or
harming themselves, when in fact society is responsible for their action because of the lack of
education regarding the mentally ill. However with the proper management of medication, the
mentally ill can be able to live fully normal lives, even though they are being stereotyped. People
with mental illness are considered as a risk factor when it comes to employment in the
workforce. The mentally ill see working as a means of social integration, and as a significant
cornerstone of their lives.
However, for one’s self-worth, social activity creates a necessary stepping-stone, it is the
critical factor to daily structure. It is important to give the mentally ill meaningful goals and
improve their self-esteem. Mental illness can leave a person in double jeopardy when there is no
social identity, and in this case employment is a serious benefactor for them.
Services/Policies Are In Place To Alleviate The Problem
However, employment improves self-esteem, gives a normalizing factor, and provides
them finances while, at the same time, giving a person social support while obtain recovery they
need to have an opportunity to enrich their quality of life. Today some counties have mental
health court that forces on the mental ill that commit a crime, since there are no longer mental
institutions, cities and counties provide support. Today the disease get addressed one company
called Macomb-Oakland Regional Center (M.O.R.C), which has been around since 1979. It is
one of the resources for the mentally ill and disabled. However, M.O.R.C. works with the mental
ill people by setting them up in their own home providing a safe environment. The first step is
finding the proper dose of medication to control the illness, which allows them to be stable and

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to prepare for society. However, private companies hire people after they pass criminal
background and drug test to assist the mentally ill in the privacy 24 hours of their own home.
Nonetheless, the company then send the employee to M.O.R.C to be train.
The way it’s setup is the employee will have an understanding that instead of mental
health or mentally ill the person today is refer to as the Consumer. There is a place called
O.A.T.S which stand for Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles located in Clarkston MI.
Today in Michigan, there are people becoming aware of different services that are offered to help
the mentally ill. However, there still so many people who need help from places like M.O.R.C.
and people are not aware these services exist. M.O.R.C gives the mentally ill a chance to live a
normal life like you and me Meijer is one of the company that is open to hiring mentally ill. The
person at higher risk of mental health problems is our military veterans and personnel, who do
not seek health care.
Mental health service is very critical to assist with the identify factors for this population,
and my personal beliefs is the majority problem is people who are not aware of their own illness.
I came to this review by examining the public stigma and beliefs mental health and mental illness
treatment many people in society don’t understand coping behaviors, barriers associated with
aging, variations in beliefs, coping, and barriers to treatment seeking.
Mental Health Treated Historically and First Identified
During the pre 1400's, mental health problems were considered to be religious in nature
by the ancient Romans and Egyptian civilizations. People believed mental illness is a form of
being possessed by demons and their theories are still employed and discussed today as well as
the study of psychology basics. Clifford Beers, wrote a book , A Mind That Found Itself(Beers,
2009), which prompted discussions on how treatment of mentally ill people in institutions. His
initial idea was initiated with the National Mental Health Association. Ken Kesey’s book One

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Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest written in 1962 became a topic of discussion in the medical world
(Kesey, 1962).
The book became a hit movie in 1975 telling the story of psychiatric hospitals and how
the patients had been treated. The movie offered an interesting perspective on mental illness
treatment of patients. “President Harry Truman in 1946 signed the National Mental Health Act a
law that aimed to reduce mental illness in the United States. This law paved the way for the
foundation of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1949 (National Institutes of
Health, 2013, p.4).”
Mental Health Treatment Today
Today mental health treatment is understood clearer than the past twenty-five years.
Mentally ill patients who need Family Independent Agency Programs or integrated services for
those individuals with more challenges are dependent upon available programs. Many patients
today in need of rehabilitative care with consistent evidence-based standards are often
unavailable and do not receive care. Community care is leading to failures with the mental health
and an increase in arrests among mentally ill persons. The mental illness often requires treatment
rather than a jail diversion.
Mental Health Treatment Historical and Today Mental Health Treatment Definition
In the 1950’s, Mental illness was defined as medically schizophrenia. Many people over
the years have not experienced mental health problems. However, when a wide range of mental
health conditions is defined as mental illness, it affects the brain while a person is thinking, often
becoming visible in their behavior and now the different mood swings are present. When a
person has an ongoing ability to show signs and symptoms that affect their ability to function, it
creates problems in their daily life such as work or personal relationships. Most of the time it can
be managed with psychotherapy and medications.
Mental Health Treatment Changed Over Time
One of the differences in mental health treatment is electroshock therapy was received to

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patients more than 100 procedures in the 1950's. The patients were given greater electricity, and
the stimulus was different. Today, the electroshock therapy has minimal damage to the patient
due to the amount administered. Also fifty years ago, the patient was not carefully monitored nor
given muscle relaxants or anesthetics. While shackled to the gurney, there were still broken
bones and vertebrae.
Today, there is non-dominant unilateral electroshock therapy used only for the right side
of the patient’s head as opposed to the bilateral side, which protects auditory memory, site of
language, and the left side of the brain is protected. Another advance mental health treatment
today is brief-pulse stimulus-a steady stream of electricity, which is a quick jolt. However, the
patients do not suffer serious memories problems.
Social Stigma Discrimination or Prejudices Affect Definition and Policy Solutions
The general public with mental illnesses is defined as unfavorably and a loss of respect.
Discrimination leads to a stigma, inequitable treatment and experience in economic
disadvantages. Mental illness individuals will stop trying to seek treatment in order to get help
rather than being a person defined as disgraced. However, this can become a barrier for the
mental illness to overcome when entering into the community. In fact, maintaining relationships,
seeking employment and securing a place to live are important while living with mental illness.
My Personal Belief Of The Problem and what Cause The Problem
Personal is defined a person without the intervention of another; also: proceeding from a
single person (Merriam n.d). Belief is defined as a state or habit of mind in which trust or
confidence is placed in some person or thing (Merriam n.d). My belief is mental illness come
from dealing with life on life own terms, meaning as human being, we worries about experiences
that is apart of everyday life. We as society is responsible for the way mentally ill was handle
over three centuries ago, our solution was to provide a large state hospitals and other institutions
to lock the mentally ill away. Since five decade, this was the era when mentally ill was just
beginning pharmaceutical treatment and patient spends many years being taken care of by the
institutions.
Today, the majority people get help who are experiencing serious long-term conditions
with mental health problems, especially early in their life, they can learn to live with it or get

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over it altogether. Which can make a profound effect on a person quality of life. However, the
way symptoms are diagnoses divided and classified into groups can have a long-lasting and
severe impact on person ability to get on with life. My belief is many people live with mental
health problems being afraid of what other people reaction or trying to keep their feelings hidden
can developed a problem. And many people have problems, feeling troubled without having a
diagnosed, but they can cope with daily struggles that comes with life. The problem with the
mentally ill was always a part of society.
However, only when the government start closing down institutional hospital is when
society start taking notice of the problem. Once again, the mentally ill was being abandon,
homeless, roaming street, and many cases incarcerated causing this problem. Many people are
mentally ill is not receiving proper treatment, also adding to the problem. Many of our Michigan
citizens with mentally illness are tremendously suffering because of lack of imagination, lack of
attention, and lack of adequate manpower. We are living in a vicious cycle, keep repeating the
same thing, getting the same result increasing poverty level and dehumanizing citizen because of
it.
The Treatment Related To Social Work Values And Ethics
Social workers have an opportunity in the field of mental health, to practice
collaboratively with allied health professionals and at the same time maintain the integrity of
their knowledge and skill base. The social values, which underpin this interactive definition of
mental health, are strongly congruent with the "humanitarian and egalitarian ideals" which form
the value base of social work (Social Work Code of Ethics, p. 7). Person-in-environment (PIE)
practice domain closely fits emphasis on social work ‘s interaction between an environment,
group or person (Appleby et al., 2007). 1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity (c) Social

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workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and
oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender
identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and
mental or physical disability (Appleby et al., 2011).
6.04 Social and Political Action (d) Social workers should act to prevent and
eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against any person, group, or class
on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or
expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical
disability (Appleby et al., 2011). The mentally ill have the rights as an individual, to choose how
to live their life, and a person is entitled to social justice regardless to having a mental illness.
Conclusion
Although the treatment of mental illness has changed, the stigmas and definitions have
remained the same. The goal of mental illness treatment is to provide ways to provide healthier
and stable living conditions with for them. Also, it is important to educate individuals and
improve their awareness and eliminate the stigmas attached to mental illness. We must improve
our interaction with the people who actually live with mental illness. Mental health care systems
should systematically help the mentally ill patients to become members of society before and
after being treated. It is important to link employment with the health outcomes.

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Reference:
Appleby, G. A., Colon, E., & Hamilton, J. (2011). Diversity, Oppression and Social Functioning:
Person-In-Environment Assessment and Intervention (3rd Ed.). United States: Allyn &
Bacon/Pearson Publishing.
Ashford, J. B., LeCroy, C. W., & Lortie, K. L. (2006). Human Behavior In The Social Environment. L.I Gebo
(Ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning, Inc.
Belief. (n.d). In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief
Day, Phyllis J. (2013). A New History of Social Welfare (7th Ed.) United States: Pearson
Publishing.
Merriam Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriamwebster.com on March 27,
2015.
Mental Health Foundation. (2010). Stigma and Discrimination Retrieved
March 27, 2015 from http://www.mentalhealth.org
National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics. Retrieved
November 3, 2013, from http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp
WXYZ 7 abc. (2014). The dumping ground. Retrieved
March 27, 2015 from http://www.wxyz.com/news/localnews/investigations/the-dumping-ground-how-jails-and-prisons-have-become-the-last-hope-formichigans-mentally-ill