Abstract and Keywords
This entry describes the extent of the mental health problem in the United States, trends in treatment rates, and evidence that public recognition of mental illness and related interventions is increasing both in the United States and internationally. Emphasis is given to the structure of the mental health system's major sectors, to the key roles that social workers play, and to the challenges they face, outlined at the conclusion of several sections, in providing effective and quality care against the complex backdrop of this system.
Keywords: mental health services system, evidence-based practice, service access, disparities, financing, mental health specialty sector, general medical sector, managed care, voluntary support sector, social services
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