Care of the severely mentally ill has been influenced by the cultural values prevalent in societies more than any other condition in the health field. Religious beliefs and societies’ attitudes towards different others have played prominent roles in the understanding and status of mental illness and the mentally ill. The mentally ill have been demonized, regarded as having special powers, ostracized, alienated, euthanatized, patronized, subjected to cruelty and ridicule by different cultures, including Western societies, throughout history.

This presentation offers an overview of historical trends in the treatment of severely mentally ill persons and current developments in the field from the standpoint of the scientific knowledge base and cultural values in the field of mental health in the United States. Significant changes in the implementation of human rights concepts in the structure of American and California society in particular, together with effective evidence-based treatment approaches, have contributed to a perception of mental illness as a treatable condition. Treatment is perceived as a common task of many elements of society, including the target individual and family. We will discuss the organization and aspirational values of systems of care in California in detail.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits:

These online training modules were developed by CAPIC under a contract with the California Department of Mental Health (DMH) funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). As such, these online modules are available to the public free of charge.

However, besides their use as general training resources, these online modules are also approved for Continuing Education (CE) credits for California-licensed Mental Health Clinicians. This online module is approved for 2.0 hours of CE credits. Again, only CA-licensed Mental Health Clinicians are eligible for these CE credits.

CAPIC is authorized to charge $15 per module solely for the administration of CE credits, which is being done in partnership with Alliant International University. If you are not seeking CE credits, there is no CE administration fee and no cost for using these online training modules.

Participants seeking CE credits must complete all aspects of this module including passing the exam at the end of the module. At the start of the exam, you will be asked for your California license number (if you are seeking CE credits), as well as basic contact information, in order to process your CE credits. Once you have successfully completed all aspects of the module, you will be contacted regarding your CE credits, including payment of the $15 administrative fee and issuance of your CE completion certificate.

Regardless whether you are seeking CE credits, we hope the knowledge gained here will serve you well in your professional endeavors.