Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States of America who was voted to power in 1981 after President Carter. According to the article by Jim Donahue on Ronald ascended to the Presidency with the aim of cutting down on Federal Government spending and to deal with the issue pertaining to the Russian Cold War. The author continues to point out that President Reagan was not concerned with the issues regarding the mentally sick people. He cut the funding of the National Institute of Mental Health and merged it with another division. This idea led to the embezzlement of funds hence mental health issues slowly began to be forgotten.
In addition, Lyons (1984) states that President Reagan came up with a policy to release mentally ill people from hospitals back to the community. This led to a hotly contested debate among civil organizations, politicians, and doctors, who saw the policy as controversial as it did not address the issue at hand. The mentally ill people were left to buy and use medication without control leading to drug abuse and its associated problems. For instance, as a result of not adhering to the usage of drugs, most of these people were apprehended and jailed.
On the other hand, according to Thomas (1998), Reagan’s concept of ‘new federalism’ had its own share of gains and challenges. First, he made America come out of a 10 year recession period thus helping in the growth of the economy. Secondly, he led to an increase in psychotic disorders among people due to the termination of their benefits by applying certain restrictions and bureaucratic procedures to the process. Moreover, the author notes that President Reagan came up with policies that satisfied the interest of certain groups and the wellbeing of the business people but failed to address the issue at hand; mental illness. The President was interested in the profitability of businesses rather than the welfare of the mentally ill people, this policy moved from social to fiscal policy; hence social programs that needed funding were abandoned in favor of political projects that were cost effective.
The article by David Mechanic’s indicates that many improvements and strides has been made concerning mental health care as compared to the situation during the era of Ronald Reagan. The author also reports that there has been an increase in medication and rehabilitation of mentally ill patients at large. The society understands mental illness and the mentally ill can be accepted. However, stigma still exists among those people involved in drug abuse and those with psychotic disorders. Policies on health matters are now prioritized by Institutions and policymakers because they know mental health is integral to the wellbeing of people in the society.
In conclusion, the articles have revealed the positive strides implemented during Reagan era as well as the shortcomings. However, it is important that policy makers and implementers prioritize mental health and formulate sustainable strategies by incorporating the input of all stakeholders.