The authors report on the help-seeking experiences of people referred to
community settings for aftercare on discharge from a state mental hospital
in western Massachusetts. They present results that bear on three questions
relevant to public policy issues in the mental health field: 1) the
proportion of patients who comply with referrals to aftercare agencies, 2)
the social and psychological characteristics of patients who comply with
these referrals, and 3) the impact of receiving aftercare on the
probability of rehospitalization.