Nursing homes play an important role in the care of chronic mental patients, and they could be used as one base on which to build a better system of care. Carling, in his article 'Nursing Homes and Chronic Mental Patients: A Second Opinion', appears to question aspects of this contention. His efforts in this regard are interesting but unconvincing, though his thoughtful comments usefully elaborate the problems inherent in trying to incorporate nursing homes into the mainstream of mental health care. He more successfully uses his article to describe the National Plan for the Chronically Mentally Ill, a recent policy proposal of great merit that may some day significantly benefit mental patients. Meanwhile, mental health policy must face the reality that nursing homes are providing useful services to many chronic mental patients who have been inadequately served by current community care programs. This is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. Policy advocates need to attend to practical alternatives, not just to idealized possibilities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health