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August 26, 1950

Better Care in Mental Hospitals

JAMA. 1950;143(17):1529. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910520071037

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This is a report of the First Mental Hospital Institute under the auspices of the American Psychiatric Association. The main theme was the outstanding need to improve mental hospital facilities and particularly to determine what could now be done to improve care in these hospitals. Opening remarks concerning the general problem were made by Dr. William C. Menninger, president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Dr. Morris Fishbein of Chicago. Discussion groups considered matters relating to administration, interrelationships of hospitals in the community, personnel needs and clinical methods of treatment.

Probably none of the mental hospitals in the United States or Canada today are up to standards prescribed by the Committee on Hospital Standards and Policies of the American Psychiatric Association. In order to comply with personnel requirements established by association standards, it was estimated that it would be necessary to employ additionally 9,000 psychiatrists, 3,000 neurologists, 3,000 clinical psychologists,

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