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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 8 (1966) 1, 156 - 166

Korte bijdrage

Geestelijke gezondheidszorg in de Verenigde Staten

J.G.M. Wellen

Based on Action for Mental Health, the final report of the joint commission on mental Illness and health, this article outlines some developments in mental health care in the U.S.A. Because of the rapid social and cultural change of our era Action for Mental Health is more inclined to give a birds eye view on what is already going on in the U.S.A. — and in Europe — than a program for the future.
In his message Mental Illness and Mental Retardation (Febr. '63) Kennedy goes further than the recommendations of the joint commission, which are particularly based on the clinical point of view and which aim at improving this sector. The bilt introduced into the House of Representatives (rommunity Mental Health Centers Act of 1963') aimed at setting up a country-wide systenz of mental health centers of Tering a comprehensive community care. Will the community 'tiental health centers, /zowever, remain the last word on the prevention and treatment of mental disorders? This is doubted in the U.S.A. (e.g. Dr. Nicholas Hobbs); it is also a dubious question in the Netherlands, especially among non-medical mental health workers. An effective program for the prevention and treatment cannot be a variation or combination of current treatment models, which are predominantly based on the medical tradition. Psychohygiene, especially primary prevention and positive mental health, cannot be solely based on the work with the mentally disturbed.