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Social Welfare Policy and Services: The Mentally Ill, the Mentally Disabled

Resources that you can use when seeking information on current and historical social welfare policies, issues, and services in the U.S.

What's Here?

A selection of resources about the history, issues, characteristics, and policies relating to specific groups.

Target Populations: The Mentally Ill, The Mentally Disabled

The Mentally Ill

To find books on the treatment of the mentally ill search The Library Catalog. Some relevant subject headings include:

    Mentally Ill Care United States
    Mentally Ill Care United States History
    Mental Illness United States
    Mental Illness United States History

"History of Mental Health Services," IN Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, Md., National Institute of Mental Health, 1999. Chapter 2, pp. 75; 78-80.

Luchins, Abraham S. Moral Treatment in Asylums and General Hospitals in 19th-Century America," Journal of Psychology 123(6), November 1989, 585-607.
"Moral treatment, a therapeutic approach that emphasized character and spiritual development, and called for kindness on the part of all who came in contact with the patient, flourished in American mental hospitals during the first half of the 19th century...Changing social and welfare services and advances in scientific medicine contributed to a subsequent decline in moral treatment...." Rutgers-restricted Access.

Bly, Nellie. Ten Days in a Mad-House New York, Ian L. Munro, 1888.
In 1888 New York World journalist Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman) allowed herself to be committed to New York City's most notorious insane asylum.

Beers, Clifford W. A Mind That Found Itself: An Autobiography. New York, Longmans, Green and Co., 1908.
Beers account of his struggle with mental illness and the deplorable state of mental health care in the U.S. had a profound effect on mental health care reform.

Grob, Gerald N. " The Transformation of the Mental Hospital in the United States," American Behavioral Scientist 28(5), May/June 1985, 639-654. Rutgers-restricted Access.

United States. President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America: Final Report. Rockville, MD., 2003.

Transforming Mental Health Care in America: The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps. 2005

The Mentally Disabled

To find books on the treatment of the mentally disabled search The Library Catalog. Some relevant subject headings include:

    People with Mental Disabilities United States
    People with Mental Disabilities United States History
    People with Mental Disabilities Institutional Care United States
    People with Mental Disabilities Institutional Care United States History
    People with Mental Disabilities Services for
    Social Work with People with Disabilities
    Asylums United States History

Goode, David. "A Short History of the Treatment of Persons With Mental Retardation," IN "And Now Let's Build a Better World": The Story of the Association for the Help of Retarded Children, New York City 1948-1998. New York, AHRC, 1998. Chapter 1, pp.6-17.

[Articles Relating to the Mentally Disabled]
Seven articles on "feeblemindedness" published in The Survey between 1912 and 1922.

Johnstone, E. R. Excerpt from "Committee Report: Stimulating Public Interest in the Feeble-Minded," Proceedings of National Conference Charities and Correction 1916, 205-215.

Ochsner, Albert J. "The Surgical Treatment of Habitual Criminals, Imbeciles, Perverts, Paupers, Morons, Epileptics, and Degenerates," Annals of Surgery 82(3), September 1925, 321-325.
The Presidential Address delivered before the American Surgical Association, May 4, 1925.

United States. President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. A Charge We Have to Keep: A Road Map to Personal and Economic Freedom for People with Intellectual Disabilities in the 21st Century. Washington, D.C., 2004.

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