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May 2, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(1):48-49. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690010054011

Startling figures have been compiled recently by the National Association for Mental Health.1 These figures show there are in the United States on any given day as many patients in mental hospitals as there are in all other hospitals combined. In addition there are 120,000 mentally deficient and about 20,000 epileptic patients in special institutions. Each year about 250,000 new patients are admitted to mental hospitals and about 100,000 more who have been in mental hospitals before are readmitted. At least 200,000 persons, children included, are seen per year in psychiatric clinics and an unknown number visit private psychiatrists for treatment. This is probably only a small part of the total number of persons in the country who have some form of mental illness or other personality disorder. The number of these persons has been estimated to be about 9,000,000, including 1,500,000 with incapacitating psychosis or neurosis and 7,500,000

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