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The process of transferring patients with mental disorders or developmental disabilities from long-term institutions, which isolate the patient, to more integrated community-based mental health services. A significant deinstitutionalization movement began in the United States in the late twentieth century.

Example: A schizophrenic woman had lived in her state’s mental hospital for all of her adult life when it was shut down in the late 1960s. She was placed in a group home and goes to a community center daily to receive her medication.

APA Reference
Grinnell, R. (2018). Deinstitutionalization. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2020, from