Mental health service providers, in many cases, have the responsibility of addressing a range of needs that goes far beyond what is generally considered to be the field of medicine. In the case of people who are severely disabled, the mental health service system will take on responsibility not only for psychiatric treatment, but also for housing, employment, vocational training or income maintenance, daily living support to the extent needed, and even money management. This is one of the results of deinstitutionalization: the 'total institution', which provided all the necessities for its patients, has now been superseded by a service system that is expected, when necessary, to take on the total support of people living in communities. The range of needs to be considered when planning for individuals or communities thus extends far beyond calculations of hospital bed-days and outpatient visits.
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