Will community mental health survive in the 1980s?

S. S. Sharfstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


There are now 675 funded community mental health centers (CMHCs), covering almost half the country. Many of these programs were funded in the social optimism of the 1960s and now face a crisis of purpose and funding. Additional requirements imposed by the 1975 amendments to the CMHC act are not matched by additional fiscal resources. Programs are graduating from the federal grant to find that other sources of funds, especially third-party insurance funds, are not replacing the lost federal dollars. There is evidence that CMHCs are changing from clinical/medical programs to social programs; the numbers of persons seeking care who have diagnosable mental illness are decreasing. The issue is whether CMHCs as a national program are headed for extinction or whether there will be new vitality for this program into the 1980s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1363-1365
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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