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March 1965

Rehabilitative Potential in "Chronic" Mental Patients

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(3):241-244. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720330015003

Introduction  THE JOINT Commission report in Action for Mental Health stimulated a great deal of interest in the size and functions of public mental hospitals. One of the most tangible, and talked about, recommendations of the report was "that all existing state hospitals of more than one thousand beds be gradually and progressively converted into centers for the longterm and combined care of chronic diseases including mental illness."1 If mental hospitals are indeed to become centers for the care of chronic diseases, then some reduction of the size of the present mental hospital population is implied. Reduction of the number of patients chronically hospitalized for mental illness is currently being approached in several ways: by providing services to avoid the necessity of hospitalization, by preventing chronicity through early and active treatment programs, and by releasing more patients who have been hospitalized for

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