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March 1964

The Community Psychiatric Hospital: Therapeutic Significance

Author Affiliations

Medical Director (Dr. Mechanick); Clinical Director (Dr. Nathan); Philadelphia Psychiatric Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(3):284-291. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720210066010

The tendency for traditional mental hospitals to maintain the illness and delay the recovery of patients reached national attention in the recent message of the late President Kennedy to Congress on mental health problems. His comments and recommendations were based on the report of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, which noted how removal of the mentally ill to distant institutions was a form of the public's rejection of these sick individuals.1 Not only are patients geographically isolated, but they are made members of a new, separate, and complete society, considered by the general community as alien. As a result, even after a patient's recovery, he often has great difficulty in gaining readmission to his original group. In order to prevent a patient from becoming a permanent member of a sick subsociety, therefore, every effort must be made to continue his participation in his community during the

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