J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2010 Mar;49(2):144-148.

History of the Korean Mental Health Act

  • 1Gimpo Mental Hospital, Gimpo, Korea. tsuh@hanmail.net


The aim of this study was to review the history of the Korean Mental Health Act. The Korean Mental Health Act was enacted in 1995 and revised over the next 15 years. We analyzed these changes over time from the viewpoint of the mental health system. Social systems influenced the Mental Health Act through the mental health system. The first Korean Mental Health Act in 1995 was enacted under the industrial age model and as such, supported long-term hospitalization. This was despite the introduction of a preliminary community mental health model. Subsequently, the Korean Mental Health Act has evolved into one which fully supports a community mental health model. Despite the fact that the Korean Mental Health Act plays an important role in Korea, more research is required to improve and thus, ensure a more effective Korean mental health system.


Mental health act; History of mental health; Mental health system; Community mental health; Human rights
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