Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


The presence of large numbers of chronically mentally ill clients in the community has been the focus of considerable attention in the literature in recent years. The trend toward deinstitutionalization and the growth of the Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) movement have profoundly altered treatment for this population. Past research highlighted the fragmented and inadequate attention given this group, but major changes in funding mechanisms to the CMHCs that have serviced these clients have had a decided impact on service delivery, with the reported result of prioritized attention to chronic clients. This new emphasis on services to a much lower-functioning client population has direct implications for CMHCs. The present study looks at the effects of recent funding and program emphases on chronically disabled clients receiving services from the Seattle-King County area in 1983. Chronically mentally ill clients were compared with both acutely disturbed and higher-functioning clients on demographic variables, service totals, types of services received, dropout status and staff assignment. Differences among the three groups both in demographics, staff assignment and patterns of service utilization were found, with the lower-functioning groups receiving more total services. The responsiveness of this particular CMHC system to the chronically mentally ill is highlighted and discussed.