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This article explores the history of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, in particular the federal optimism that drove the Act's passing. Failings of the CMHA are explored. Emphasis is made on how modern-day evidence-based outpatient programs channel the optimism of the CMHA. These programs also counteract the current lack of sufficient, structured outpatient care for many persons with serious mental illness living in the community.

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This page is a summary of: Deinstitutionalization Through Optimism: The Community Mental Health Act of 1963, American Journal of Psychiatry Residents Journal, June 2021, American Psychiatric Association, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2021.160404.
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