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July 1973

Exclusion of the Mentally IllReflection on an Old Problem in a New Context

Author Affiliations

Tel Aviv, Israel; Berkeley, Calif
From the School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University, Israel (Dr. Aviram), and the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley (Dr. Segal).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(1):126-131. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200010095016

Are those individuals who were formerly placed on the back wards of the state mental hospital drifting to the back alleys of the community? There is some evidence to suggest that the erosion of the state hospitals system has led communities to develop new methods of excluding their mentally ill. Viewing inclusion and exclusion efforts as a function of social distance, we have reviewed empirical data on the nature of attitudinal response to the mentally ill.

Implications of public attitudinal response to this group are considered with respect to providing the necessary incentives for inclusion. Taking California as an example, we also attempt to conceptualize and classify actual community response patterns in the light of what appears to be the development of new formal and informal mechanisms of exclusion.