July 24, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(4):49-50. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130040015004

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Mental Hospital Release Rate Increases  The number of patients in state and county mental hospitals has declined for the 11th straight year, according to the Public Health Service.The resident patient population dropped from 475,202 in 1965 to 452,000 in 1966—a decline of 4.8% and the largest annual reduction in the 11 years. During the 11 years, the patient population decreased 19% at a time when the nation's population rose 20%.Total admissions increased in 1966, but so did the number of patients released, reflecting shorter hospital stays. Some 330,000 persons were admitted to the hospitals in 1966 compared to 314,000 in 1965, and 178,000 in 1955. The number of net releases (311,827) has more than doubled from the 126,498 patients released from mental hospitals in 1955.Stanley F. Yolles, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said that "the break in the upward trend occurred in