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US policy puts strain on mentally ill

The number of psychiatric beds in the country has been cut from half a million to 35,000 over the last 60 years.

Last updated: 29 Mar 2014 03:22
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The World Health Organisation ranks mental health disorders as the number one source of disability, but millions of sufferers in the US say they are no longer getting routine healthcare.

The number of psychiatric beds available in the country fallen from more than half a million in the 1950s to only 35,000 in 2012.

The US has cut $4bn from its mental health budget since the recession of the last decade.

Seriously ill patients must now turn to a network of community mental health centres for their medical, housing and other needs.

Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports from Richmond, Virginia.

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Al Jazeera
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