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Comment & Response |

Expanding Long-term Care Options for Persons With Serious Mental Illness

Susan Rogers, BA1
[+] Author Affiliations
1National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2015;313(17):1755-1756. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3500.
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To the Editor Dr Sisti and colleagues1 argued that “[t]he financially sensible and morally appropriate way forward [regarding mental health treatment] includes a return to psychiatric asylums that are safe, modern, and humane.”

Asylums are neither “financially sensible” nor “morally appropriate.” Studies have shown that individuals with even the most serious mental health conditions can be treated in the community more effectively, and at lower cost, than in institutions.2 For example, peer-run crisis respites (home-like places where people can live temporarily during a mental health crisis), which research has found effective, cost $211 per day compared with $665 per day for hospitalization in 1 study.3

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May 5, 2015
Dominic A. Sisti, PhD; Andrea G. Segal, MS; Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD
1Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2015;313(17):1757-1758. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3503.
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