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After the World War II, there was an important part of the legislative which is the National Mental Act of 1946. For more than 50 years, since its establishment was authorized by Congress in 1946, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has created, shaped, and implemented the attitudes toward, policies for, and treatment response to the mentally ill in the United States (Judd, 1998). They had the funds that were available to support research teachings and education to help the people with mental illnesses. In 1955, the Mental Health Study Act was passed. This act called for studies that focus on major issues in the mental health fields. They had promoted research training in discovery in the brain and behavioral sciences, charting mental illness trajectories to determine when, where, and how to intervene, and develop new and better interventions that incorporate the diverse needs and circumstances of people with mental illnesses (National Institute of Mental Health, 2012). This led to the Mental Health Act of 1955 to initiate the passage of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 26). From this act it unfolded to political steps towards the Community Mental Health Centers of 1963.
In 1963, decision led to the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers. The center was a place to encourage active user participation in the development of mental health policy that has seen an increased focus on collaboration and the development of partnerships between service users and professionals within community mental health services (Elstad & Hellzen, 2010). They gain more knowledge about people with mental problems living in a community. The purpose of the legislation was to be able to reach out, counsel, and provide services that are coordinate to be offer to the community centers (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 26). Community Mental Health Centers Acts were intended for changing the society as a whole and by solving what social problems there were. After the Community Mental Health Centers Act we got into the other legislative acts that were developed in the field of human service such as the Economic Opportunity Act and the Schneurer Sub-professional Career Act.
The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was the focus of the fight against war on poverty in which was an important part of legislation that had an impact in the field of human services. The purpose for this act was to provide education to adults, provide job trainings and loans to help small businesses because of the unemployment and poverty rate. The objective was to help the poor by enabling them to pull themselves from the grip of poverty. In 1966, the Schneuer Sub-professional Career Act was put into place to provide the opportunity for the disadvantage to enter into new jobs in the mental health field. According to Harris, Maloney and Rother, during these formal training students learned the skills necessary to work with variety of clients and other health professionals (pg. 26). This led to the act to open up more doors for people to transition to other fields in mental health.
The National Organization for Human Service Education (NOHSE) and Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) were to encourage best practices for preparing human service workers. Although these two groups share common goals, they do serve different purposes. NOHSE has to ensure medium is available for collaboration and cooperation among students, practitioners, and their agencies, and faculty (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 31). They had to improve the education of human service students and professionals by cultivating exemplary teaching and research practices and by curriculum development (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 31). The other two main purposes according to Harris, Maloney and Rother, was by abetting and providing assistance to other organizations at local, state, and national levels, and to improve human service education and delivery through conferences, institutes, publications and symposia (pg. 31). This organization was developed to serve the needs of the faculty. The Council for Standards in Human Service Education in 1979 via from the National Institute for Mental Health grants (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 31). They are intentionally general to strike a balance between clearly stated principles and enough flexibility to avoid constraining natural diversity among programs for students (CSHSE, 2012). Under the CSHSE there are the five functions (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, pg. 32):
Standard for training programs at the associate’s and baccalaureate degree levels.
Review and recognize programs that meet standards.
Sponsoring faculty development workshops in curriculum design, program policymaking, resource development, program evaluation, and other areas.
Offering vital and informational assistance to programs seeking to improve the quality and relevance of their training.
Publishing a quarterly bulletin to keep programs informed of Council activities, training information and resources, and issues and trends in human service education.
In the field of human services, these legislations will continue to improve from its historical traditions through the knowledge, skills and values we gain from it. The efforts of these acts in the human service field will only provide quality educational programs that will evolved as a direct result of the program approval progresses. We need human service professionals who will be able to give people that kind of help that are needed to get by. Laws that will help protect the people with mental illnesses.
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