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Overholser, W. (1962). Mental Health in the United States. A Fifty-Year History: By Nina Ridenour, Ph.D. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961. 146 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:406-407.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:406-407

Mental Health in the United States. A Fifty-Year History: By Nina Ridenour, Ph.D. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961. 146 pp.

Review by:
Winfred Overholser

With the recent rapid developments in the field of mental health—the increasing support of research, training, and improving the standards of care of patients, the growth of mental health associations, and the appearance of the Joint Commission's report—it is most timely that the basic facts of the mental health movement should be recorded.

Dr. Ridenour gives us here, in a space of less than one hundred fifty pages, the highlights of the story, and an inspiring story it is. She has been long associated with the National Association for Mental Health and is acquainted with the facts. Furthermore, she presents the facts clearly, succinctly, and readably. The story is familiar to many readers of The QUARTERLY, but there are many others—governors, legislators, volunteers, and other interested and influential laymen—who, from reading this account, can gain new impetus in their efforts for progress in the field. Psychiatry and the care of the mentally ill have come far since the day fifty-three years ago when Clifford Beers organized the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, but Dr. Ridenour very properly points out that we still have far to go.

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