Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

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Mental health care has, over the decades, evolved to its today’s vast and well-recognized docket in the US. From the 18th century, the use of insane asylums. Significant changes in treatment practices have denoted the country’s mental health system, societal attitudes and policies towards mental illnesses (Dixon & Schwarz, 2019). Even with the advancements, issues including stigma, financial constraints, and unequal access to high-quality healthcare still exist. A complex interaction of social, political, and healthcare system elements is reflected in the continuing evolution of the mental health system in the United States (Drake & Latimer, 2022). This paper thoroughly explores community mental health centers and their role in mental healthcare in the US. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper


Part I: Overview of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)

Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) have had a rich history in the US, dating back to the 20th century, and denoted a significant change in mental health practices and policy. According to Drake & Latimer (2022), the basis of CMHCs can be traced to the rampant deinstitutionalization era between the 1950s and 60s. President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963, a key policy in reshaping the country’s mental care sector. The implementation of the Act was to establish a comprehensive network of community-founded mental health services as an alternative to institutionalization. The initiative saw the establishment of decentralized and community-based mental health centers nationwide, resulting in a community-based or focused approach to mental health care. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

The establishment of the CMHCs was aligned with two key goals: decentralizing mental health services and delivering holistic and comprehensive care. Before the adoption of the centers, mental care was delivered in centralized state facilities, and in turn, the focus was to decentralize this into community-based care. This initiative would establish centers closer to people’s homes at the local community level, increasing access to care. According to Dixon & Schwarz (2019), the move resulted in reduced stigmatization of mental illness patients and also laid the foundation for integrating mental health care into mainstream care systems.

On the other hand, the establishment of CMHCs supported the delivery of diverse mental health services, including outpatient care, rehabilitation, and support services. The objective was to deliver comprehensive and holistic care that addressed populations’ diverse needs. The move recognized mental health illnesses were subject to diverse social, environmental and economic factors (Drake & Latimer, 2022). The founding of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) signaled a fundamental paradigm change in mental health treatment, stressing community participation, prevention, and integrating mental health services into the larger healthcare system. However, the effectiveness and implementation of CMHCs differed among states and regions. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

Part II: Overview of the selected Center (SUN Behavioral Delaware)

SUN Behavioral Delaware is identified as a psychiatric hospital found or located in Sussex County, DE. The hospital is a 90-bed facility providing a full continuum of various specialized care services, including in and out care for patients diagnosed or suffering from different mental illnesses and substance abuse use disorders. Their programs address children, seniors, adolescents and adult patients. The facility was founded and opened its doors for services in 2018 (Behavioral Health Centre opens in Sussex, 2018). Since its commencement, the facility has become a key link between the region’s demand for mental healthcare and care delivery.

When they started mental care services, they addressed adult, geriatric and adolescent needs. The facility has expanded to include children’s needs in mental care. According to Georgetown Delaware Psychiatric Hospital and Drug Rehab. (nd), the facility provides various programs, including substance use disorder treatment, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient programs, in-patient psychiatric treatment, assessment, telehealth consultations and crisis stabilization. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

Regarding patient reference, individuals may refer themselves or be referred by physicians. More the facility accepts walk-ins. With a 90-bed capacity, the facility accords specialized, severe and persistent mental illnesses. They operate as licensed care homes, offering services including nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

The facility provides transport and specified means of movement for patients diagnosed with severe cases. However, in other cases, patients provide their means to the facility. To increase care access, the facility offers telehealth services for home patients. However, this is limited to those who have effective communication lines, including internet and video connections. Key values, including safety, teamwork, integrity, and compassion, guide the facility’s operations. The mission is to partner with communities to solve unmet needs for people with mental illnesses and substance disorders (Mission & Values, nd). While they adopt team meetings, patients’ presence in the trams is determined by the issue or problem being addressed.

Part III: Analyzing CMHC/FQHC’s Care Delivery Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

The increased focus and improvement in healthcare delivery in recent times has led to better and more effective care delivery models. Concerning the identified facility, the community mental health center enjoys different strengths, including adopting a patient-centered approach to a comprehensive range of services, i.e. outpatient and rehabilitation, and establishing partnerships in the community and local hospitals and social services to increase care accessibility. On the other hand, the community’s strengths include a well-connected and accessible road network and improved communication and collaboration with other institutions, such as schools, hospitals, and churches, to increase outreach to the community.

Concerning patients with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), challenges may include lack of awareness, social stigma, cost and limited accessibility. They are adopting a leadership role in the clinic and focusing on implementing change to address the diverse challenges identified. The change proposal would entail the implementation of a community outreach and education program. The primary object is to increase awareness about mental health as w ell as reduce stigma and improve access to services for individuals with SPMI. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

Action steps would include implementing a community education campaign, which would help to advocate a community-wide mental health education campaign to raise awareness about SPMI, reduce stigma, and promote the importance of seeking help. The second action would be establishing and implementing partnerships with community-based organizations. These partnerships would result in positive collaboration with schools and workplaces to disseminate information about available mental health services and resources. Next would be the implementation of mobile outreach units to bring mental health services directly to underserved areas, ensuring better accessibility for individuals with SPMI. Finally, is the implementation of cultural competence in mental health care. According to Drake & Latimer (2022), by adopting the identified change measures, the aim would be to break down barriers to care, improve community awareness, and make mental health services more accessible to those who need them. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper


Georgetown Delaware Psychiatric Hospital and Drug Rehab. (n.d.). SUN Delaware. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from

Drake, R. E., & Latimer, E. (2022). Lessons learned in developing community mental health care in North America. World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)11(1), 47–51.

Dixon, L. B., & Schwarz, E. C. (2019). Fifty years of progress in community mental health in the US: the growth of evidence-based practices. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences23(1), 5–9.

Mission & Values. (n.d.). SUN Delaware. Retrieved January 12, 2024, from

Behavioral health center opens in Sussex. (2018, October 5). Delaware First Media.

Purpose: To explore and understand community mental health centers and how and what services can be utilized to care for the seriously mentally ill.

Objective: Convey an understanding of a Community Mental Health Center in your area.
*****I WANT TO USE THIS FACILITY***** : Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper

You will find one community mental health center or a federally qualified health center with behavioral health services for this paper to use as your example organization. Please try to visit in person or via phone to help gather the appropriate information.


Part One: Provide a brief overview of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) history in the United States. Identify two (2) goals of their services. Please note this is not necessarily specific to the history of your chosen center but rather the adoption of this type of care throughout the United States.
Part Two: Explore the local CMHC or Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) you chose for your example organization. Some questions to consider: When did the CMHC/FQHC you selected begin providing services? What specific programs and services are provided? Does the CMHC/FQHC serve patients across the lifespan? How are patients referred? How are services reimbursed? Is this CMHC/FQHC appropriate for patients with severe and persistent mental illness? Is transportation provided to and from the center? Are home visits offered? Does the CMHC/FQHC you selected have team meetings, and if so, how often? Is the patient invited to team meetings?
Part Three: Analyze the CMHC/FQHC’s care delivery in this overall care delivery model context. What are the strengths of your community’s resources? Think of the patients in your community with SPMI who may need services- are there barriers, obstacles, or gaps in care? Imagine being invited and accepting a leadership position at this clinic. Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper What is one change you would implement to address a barrier you identified?


Structure: This paper will be three to four pages long (not including the title and reference page) and should follow APA formatting.

You are required to have at minimum three peer-reviewed citations. An interview/site visit is not required, but please attempt to obtain one, as this will be beneficial for your assignment Community Mental Health Center Assignment Essay Paper


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