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March 1968

Pitfalls of Community Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

From the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(3):257-266. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740030001001

MUCH THAT will be presented here was anticipated by some of our distinguished predecessors. In 1932, after the late Dr. Frankwood Williams had been the Medical Director of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene for 17 years, he resigned and published an article entitled "Is There a Mental Hygiene?"1 His objections to the mental hygiene movement of those days anticipates and paralles many of my concerns over today's fanfare for community psychiatry.

A comparable earlier episode is described in the History of Medical Psychology by Zilboorg and Henry.2 They wrote of Ferrus, one of the more progressive French psychiatrists of the first half of the 19th century. In his struggles to ameliorate the conditions of the care of patients, Ferrus visited Gheel and other centers, including the hospital of an English contemporary, John Connolly, who had introduced the concept of "nonrestraint" into psychiatric thinking.

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