National Mental Health Program:
THE Mental Health Study Act of 1955 directed the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, as chosen by the National Institute of Mental Health, to analyze and evaluate the needs and resources of the mentally ill in the United States and make recommendations for a national mental health program. Our examination of the factors operating at the action level and the supporting level has shown that progress depends on the solution of the same three problems. They are (I) manpower, (2) facilities, and (3) costs. Our recommendations have been so ordered in the following three sections. We present them under the self-explanatory titles of Pursuit of New Knowledge, Better Use of Present Knowledge and Experience, and The Cost:
The philosophy that the Federal government needs to develop and crystallize is that science and education are resources—like natural resources-and that they deserve conservation through intelligent use and protection and adequate support—period. They can meet an ends test, but not a means test and not a timetable or appeal for a specified result. Science and education operate not for profit but profit everybody; hence, they need adequate support from human society, whether this support comes from wise public philanthropy or private.
What is needed in mental health research is a balanced portfolio. Toward this end we recommend the following: