What happened was that many of the facilities that in the past that housed these patients have been shut down either as a result of the policies of releasing them back into society, or by budget cuts that centralized all mental institutions because in some states, there were facilities that housed only the most severe cases after releasing those believed to be well enough to be released into society. The point of view that lead to the release of less serious mental patients was that it would be better for those patients to be released into society and not be burdens onto taxpayers any longer. In many cases, the families did not want to handle the care of these patients and essentially left them to fend out on the streets. The persistant police crackdown on the homeless (or as Neil Boortz calls them, "Urban Outdoorsmen") has actually made the solution worse than the problem that it was supposed to solve. With government-supported mental health clinics suffering under a heavy caseload of patients, ranging from those with basic mental illnesses to those with severe enough illnesses to require in-patient treatment, not everyone who needs these services are able to get the help that they need. I can vouch on the conditions of most government-run mental health clinics. Having used one here in my area in order to get treatment for depression at a price I could afford, I saw people in that clinic that made my problems seem minor in comparision. These clincs are overburdened, handling not only mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia, but drug addiction, and mental retardation. The system can be best described as revolving door counselling. Get 'em in, drug 'em, get 'em out of there. I spent more time in the waiting room than I did with the doctor. I even tried to get him to change my medication, as the side effects were getting worse, and not all of my symptoms were being fully helped (as they had previously); his solution, up my dosage, even after I told him of another medicine another doctor I had gone to for a time (mainly because I was not satisfied with the quality and measure of treatment I had been getting at the other clinic) had put me on that actually worked better than what he had prescribed me. I felt as though this doctor was being paid to prescribe Zoloft as much as possible. I actually felt better after two sessions with this other doctor than I did with the doctor that I had been seeing for almost two years, unfortunately, I couldn't afford to keep those sessions going, as this doctor's rates were a lot higher than what I had been paying at the other clinic. I feel better now that I'm working again (being unemployed had lead to the return of my depression I had a year prior), I still take my medicine to help keep myself on an even keel, just to prevent any relapse. I'm very glad that my depression was not serious enough to warrant a stay at a mental health faciltiy, as those places are the clinic I went to times 1000.