PENNSYLVANIA CLEANS HER SNAKE PITS

STOREY, WALTER R.

Pennsylvania Cleans Her Snake Pits Effective Mental Health Program Urged by Laymen, Doctors By Walter R. Storey APTES OBSERVING the opposition of AMA leaders to national ¦ health insurance, it...

...the Complete State Care Act was passed in 1938...
...State hospitals have 91 percent of the mentally ill and an even higher percentage of the mentally retarded...
...A separate Department of Public Health or of Mental Health should be established...
...Even this amount will not be sufficient, but it should' remind every state of the costliness vof failing for years to, maintain institutional property properly, to replace obsolete buildings and to plan for orderly expansion, * * IN PLANNING .FUTURE BUILDINGS, a recent statement by Dr...
...Lay and...
...Earl D. Bond, of the National Mental Health Foundation, and Dr...
...Usually only hospitals having medical schools have such wards in this state...
...should be increased to not less than $175 a month...
...Besides recommending the above figures for patient care, the state Medical and Psychiatric Societies and Public Charities Association urge an appropriation of $75,000,000 for new facilities...
...Several states have already found this measure to be cheaper than housing the mentally ill in institutions, and to lead to faste* rehabilitation under a more normal environment . As Dr...
...Pennsylvania's Medical Society, Psychiatric Society and Public Charities Association have agreed on much-needed measures in this field...
...3. A program of psychiatric wards in general hospitals must be implemented effectively...
...Why don't more people go to private institutions when they become mentally ill...
...To be sure, there remains m degree of ancient prejudice but there are now aggressive minorities calling for intelligent leadership...
...The apathy and neglect of previous State administrations make it difficult to put into effect an adequate mental health program...
...7. General improvements in the standards of treatment and care are needed, including more personnel, special therapists and social Workers, more individualized treatments, improved nutrition...
...5. Psychiatric aides who are high school graduates should be recruited and given a course in the classroom and in the ward lasting one year...
...4. An admission unit is needed in each State hospital to give patients early and concerted treatment...
...Only highways, schools and public assistance (relief) receive larger appropriations...
...ami-professional organisations are working to mobilise public opinion* Welfare agencies, the courts, churches, schools, general hospitals, formes mental hospital employees, relatives of patients, even former mental patients are voicing their interest and...
...In 1946, 22 states spent more per patient than this rich industrial state...
...8. "Foster family" care should re provided for the mildly ill or more a bio old people, under hospital supervision...
...This Commonwealth is almost entirely responsible for this duty...
...A companion measure is being introduced turning the Western Psychiatric Institute over to the University of Pittsburgh...
...It is obvious that responsible laymen want competent professional men, not politicians, to administer these great psychiatric centers, i * FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS advocated by the Public Charities Association are: 1. A state program of education and counseling work in mental hygiene for preventive purposes...
...Walter Storey, former research director for the AFL International Upholsters Union, is a frequent contributor to The New Leader...
...The interested professional agencies assert that eighty million dollars is needed for the next two years if there is to be an adequate mental health program...
...Standards of selection should be established and tenure assured at least for professional employees...
...Philadelphia State Hospital has 6,000 patients with a capacity of 3,500 and Norristown State Hospital has 4,400 patients with a capacity of 3,400...
...2. State-operated out-patient clinics for prevention,, diagnosis and oarly treatment of mental illnesses should be increased...
...Fourth...
...Bengs has also pointed out that publicity has made psychiatry so popular that it may not be able to live u& to the public's expectation...
...The present minimum wage is about $145 in Pennsylvania ant] $155 in New York...
...I here is now an Administration bill in the Legislature authorizing construction and operation of such an institute in Philadelphia...
...Governor James H. Duff falls short of these organiaationa standards in his recommendations to the Legislature largely for fiscal reasons...
...The state's new building program has planned for such units, which should utilize the newer, faster-healing psychiatric techniques...
...Thesa trained attendants should be assured of periodic pay increases and fair conditions of tenure...
...The basic wage for attendants...
...feelings...
...Having brought about administrative reorganization, Pennsylvarya will still face grave problems in caring for its mentally sick...
...To realize a fully developed program, a per capita per diem rate of $3.00 a day is desirable...
...There are 3»,000 patients in Pennsylvania's state hospitals...
...This would enable people to obtain prompt treatment in the more favorable atmosphere of their home community...
...No cities or counties operate mental hospitals...
...Because the costs, even at voluntary non-profit hospitals, are too high for the average family, except possibly lor brief periods...
...Pennsylvania Cleans Her Snake Pits Effective Mental Health Program Urged by Laymen, Doctors By Walter R. Storey APTES OBSERVING the opposition of AMA leaders to national ¦ health insurance, it is encouraging to learn that 'in one state the medical profession, a social agency and a Republican Governor are trying to work out an effective state mental health program...
...Dr...
...How does the mental health appropriation rank in the State budget...
...However, if the program sponsored by well-informed agencies is realized in this state within a decade, the present potentialities of psychiatry will have been at* tained through all state legislative, administrative and educational means...
...Even this sum would provide only $2.50 per patient per day...
...Hilding Bengs, Director of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Mental Health, has declared: "Wo are riding a tide of public Liu terest...
...However, Pennsylvania's daily expenditure per patient for food, shelter, clothing and medical and nursing care during the 1947-49 biennium was only $1.70...
...Control woud be vested in a 15-man board of trustlces consisting of the president, medical college dean and psychiatric department chiefs of the city's five leading medical schools...
...Frederick H. Allen, of the Public Charities Association, is worth careful study...
...This measure coul<$ change more promptly the quality of patient care than almost any othefl single step...
...No, the State mental institutions are about 30 percent overcrowded and cannot aceept all those in need of treatment and care...
...In the January, 1949 "Mental Health News" of the Public Charities Organization of Pennsylvania there are some revealing statements: "Do all that need care receive it...
...Pennsylvania's Medical and Psychiatric Societies and Public Charities Association insist that the administrator of mental health functions should be required by law to be a physician experienced* in this field...
...They point out: "The higher recovery rate in England is deiiniiely related to the fact that public mental hospitals average little over 1.000 beds, and this is also ¦ the siae of many of our progressive Veterans' Administration psychiatric ospitals.' The desirable size for such a hospital is between 1,500 and 2,000 beds because huge institutions cannot care well for their patients...
...Grants large enough to help voluntary hospitals establish psychiatric wards, despite today's high building costs, are needed...
...A research and training institute in the eastern part of the state has been needed for a long time...

Vol. 32 • June 1949 • No. 26


 
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