We know the answer, because about 80 percent of all the asylums in the country were closed down between 1955 and 1985, which left about 400,000 patients without care. The answer is sleeping on the park bench of every city you go to: We now call these people "the homeless." This is why about 40 percent of the homeless are people with mental illnesses.
The backlash against asylums started in the 1960s, when the government A) realized it was expensive to run group homes, and B) the world found out about a hellhole called Willowbrook. Staten Island's Willowbrook was an institution for mentally retarded children, and we're not going to lie to you, it was bad. Way bad. Robert Kennedy called the place a "snake pit," and it would have actually been better had it been filled with snakes.
"Dr. Jonesss, when would you say you started to fear commitment?"
Geraldo Rivera did an expose that showed patients rocking themselves on the floor, naked and surrounded by their own poop and pee. Naturally, the whole country freaked out that our most vulnerable children were being treated this way, especially after we found out that doctors intentionally gave the kids hepatitis to study its effects. So, yeah, Willowbrook was really bad.
Not quite Geraldo Rivera bad, but still pretty awful.