"One of the most common reasons a person returns to the hospital after going out on trial visit or being discharged is that he stops taking his medication."
From a Fulton State Hospital manual for patients and their families, 1970
Many with mental illness forget skills learned in a hospital setting after discharge. Outpatient care, though, could offset this dilemma by assisting released patients and reducing the need for readmission. Under new mental health laws in the 1950s, the Fulton hospital initiated a modified system of outpatient care. In the 1960s, the hospital established community clinics in Mexico, Hannibal, Rolla, Lebanon, and Eldon. By 1970, a typical treatment for mental illness included a brief stay at the hospital for stabilization. Upon release, the patient received in-home visits from trained staff who assisted with medication schedules.