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Comment & Response
May 5, 2015

Expanding Long-term Care Options for Persons With Serious Mental Illness

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2015;313(17):1755-1756. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3500

To the Editor Dr Sisti and colleagues1 argued that “[t]he financially sensible and morally appropriate way forward [regarding mental health treatment] includes a return to psychiatric asylums that are safe, modern, and humane.”

Asylums are neither “financially sensible” nor “morally appropriate.” Studies have shown that individuals with even the most serious mental health conditions can be treated in the community more effectively, and at lower cost, than in institutions.2 For example, peer-run crisis respites (home-like places where people can live temporarily during a mental health crisis), which research has found effective, cost $211 per day compared with $665 per day for hospitalization in 1 study.3

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