Medicine: Mental Health: Improving

With a combination of tranquilizing drugs and bigger budgets, state and local governments are making headway on long-neglected mental health programs. Putting together 1958 figures laboriously collected from all levels of government, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association for Mental Health last week measured some of the headway. Between 1956 and 1958, emphasis on effective treatment rather than mere custodial care cut the number of institutionalized patients per 100,000 U.S. population from 335-7 to 319.3. Partly as a result, average daily expenditure on each patient rose 18%, from $3.74 to $4.42.

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