Medicine: For the Mentally Sick

Last week, the Government prepared to tackle the problem of insanity. Congress had heeded Surgeon General Thomas Parran's testimony: "Of all the hospital beds in the U.S., more than one-half are occupied by patients with mental diseases. . . ." Draft statistics showed that mental disorders had caused the rejection of 789,600 men, or 17.7% of the 18-37 group.

The new National Mental Health Act, passed last week, authorizes: 1) grants totaling $10 million yearly to states, counties and cities to subsidize psychiatric services; 2) a National Institute of Mental Health to cost $7.5 million. The U.S. Health Service's probable first step:...

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