Behavior: Families for Psychotics

Most mental health specialists think that there is no alternative to hospitalizing psychotics and other mentally disturbed patients whose actions endanger others—and often themselves. Honolulu Psychologist Patrick DeLeon takes an entirely different view. "The worst thing you can do to a patient," he says, "is admit him to a hospital." Instead, DeLeon has a theory which advocates placing small groups of chronic mental patients in "family living units" in which they live as brothers and sisters in rented private apartments, hold jobs if they can, and solve day-to-day problems with almost no outside guidance.

Last week, at a convention of the American...

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