Behavior: Sidewalk Psychiatry

IN THE XMAS SPIRIT, COUNSELING 5¢, advertises a sign on a booth outside the Southern California Counseling Center in Los Angeles. Below it is a second inscription: "The psychiatrist is in." He really is: psychiatrist Benjamin Weininger is dispensing advice from the booth at a nickel per patient.

Weininger has taken up his station "to dramatize the importance of low-cost mental health service," explains Vicki Michel, director of the center. "We handle 500 cases a week and we get no public funding."

Since the booth was set up last month, Weininger has been seeing two dozen patients a day. "I've been listening to...

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