Continued Stigma Keeps Housing Scarce For Mentally Ill

Fear of violence and the potential impact on property values make it difficult to find sites for secured treatment facilities in California.
October 13, 2003, 2pm PDT | David Gest
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“Worried about rising crime and plunging property values, a citizens group is fighting efforts to convert a shuttered Ventura County jail into a treatment center for the mentally ill.” Emphasis on “smaller, community-based treatment” over the past three decades has dramatically reduced the number of beds in secured facilities. While one study showed that “mentally ill people were no more violent than those without mental illness – as long as they were complying with treatment,” another has shown that most news stories portray the mentally ill as violent. Consequently, “facilities for the mentally ill often end up in isolated areas or poor urban centers,” said Stephen Mayberg, director of the state Department of Mental Health.

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Sunday, October 12, 2003 in The Los Angeles Times
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