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April 1957

Mental IllnessA Survey Assessment of Community Rates, Attitudes, and Adjustments

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(4):393-398. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330340069013

Currently, much time and effort is being expended in various activities designated as having to do with mental health, without adequate information regarding the bases on which these activities depend. As one example, treatment facilities—clinics, hospitals, etc.—are created and expanded without a great deal of knowledge about the actual number of definable emotional difficulties present within a given community. As another, educational campaigns on many levels are actively encouraged without real attempts to ascertain the basic understanding possessed by the persons who are being exposed to such efforts and without follow-up on the resultant effects.

On the question of the need for facilities, Leighton 1 has estimated that 37% of adults in a community "are psychiatric cases"; Selective Service statistics and other surveys indicate that many persons who are emotionally ill, by existing diagnostic criteria, are not under treatment in mental health facilities. Unfortunately, exact data of this sort are