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The Hall Mercer Community Mental Health & Mental Retardation Center

The Hall Mercer Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center was established in 1965 in response to changes which took place in the treatment methods of mental health disorders in the 1950s and 1960s. Although inpatient care had been the most widely accepted mode of treatment for years, by the 1950s there was growing concern about the conditions in many state-run mental hospitals. In addition, medications were developed which enabled many former patients to live outside of a hospital setting. These factors, combined with a great deal of popular, political and economic support, paved the way for the creation of community-based, outpatient social programs throughout the country.

Hall Mercer, as it is known in the community, provides ongoing, personalized assistance to individuals who might otherwise be hospitalized or left on their own without help. As the funding available for the treatment of the mentally ill has diminished in recent years, Hall Mercer has focused on aiding the most severely ill members of the community, including the homeless, AIDS afflicted patients, the elderly and children born to drug-addicted mothers. These and all other Hall Mercer clients have access to a wide spectrum of outpatient services, as well as all inpatient services provided at Pennsylvania Hospital.

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