Psychiatry: Out of the Snake Pits

When John F. Kennedy sent to Congress the first presidential message ever devoted exclusively to mental illness and retardation (TIME, Feb. 15), the core of his proposal was a plan to set up mental-health centers in every major U.S. community—which might run to a total of 500 or more in the next five years. Even before Congress gets around to implementing the President's ideas, the prospect of federal money for pump priming and pilot plants has set mental-health officials and crusaders in all 50 states to taking stock of where they now stand.

A few states, mainly the more populous...

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