Many patients with persistent mental illnesses enjoy a better life in a community setting than would be possible in a long stay mental hospital. Furthermore, the available evidence indicates that most such patients get better while living in the community. Unfortunately, community care has not served all patients well. Much of the difficulty can be attributed to lack of resources. However, there is also a tendency by planners to underestimate the severity of patients' disabilities. A realistic appraisal demands a detailed examination of the problems of patients whose needs have not been met by community care. One important issue is that of patients who fall through the net of community care and another is that of patients who have not but nonetheless have not survived in the community. This paper addresses the question of the needs of this latter group.
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