HALFWAY HOUSE

This type of facility is “based on the assumption that experience in a protected setting can significantly increase the ex-patient’s chances of remaining out of the mental hospital, as well as preparing him for more independent living” (Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, 1962). A temporary residence which provides a transition between the mental hospital and life in the community.Three types of halfway houses are in use today. First, the cooperative urban house limited to a small number of ex-patients of the same sex who need minimum supervision and who are immediately or potentially employable. Second, the somewhat larger rural work-oriented house, often called a ranch, farm, or homestead. This facility accepts ex-patients of both sexes, as well as selected individuals with mental disorders who have never been hospitalized. The third type is the treatment- oriented facility, which occupies a place midway between the mental hospital and the patient’s home. In this facility the residents are still patients and are not required to assume much responsibility or to participate in community life.The halfway house is becoming more generally accepted, but it has its critics as well as its supporters. The critics argue that the residents are segregated from the community and encouraged to look to the house for their entire social life. They also claim that it may become a static and costly “little mental hospital ward.” Some of these criticssuggest that foster-family care avoids these disadvantages and at the same time serves as a more satisfactory bridge to the community. The proponents of the halfway house concept argue that it provides more freedom and privacy than the foster family, and therefore the residents feel more comfortable than if they were living with a family. They also point out that the tendency to become dependent on the house is a problem that would arise in any environment; and that if it is properly managed, the facility will help to achieve early release of patients from the hospital, as well as a lower relapse rate. See FAMILY CARE.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "HALFWAY HOUSE," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/halfway-house/ (accessed November 27, 2020).
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