Medicine: Hopeful Reverse

The number of patients in the nation's mental hospitals has been rising steadily for many years, at present totals about 800,000. Last week the National Mental Health Committee announced that in 1956 this "seemingly inevitable rise" was reversed for the first time. The total number of state-hospital patients for 1956 was about 7,000 under the 1955 count—despite the fact that 1956 was a record year for mental-hospital admissions (186,000, or 8,000 more than in 1955).

The reverse proved a point that doctors have been making all along: many mental patients can be restored to society if states will only spend the money...

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