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Children and Mental Health Centers: Programs, Problems, Prospects.

Walter C. Alvarez, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(6):940. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320120180015.
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This book is filled with a tremendous amount of information about community mental health services throughout the country, and particularly about services the centers provide for children and adolescents. It presents the findings of a questionnaire survey of all federally supported community mental health centers and a full history of treatment efforts made on behalf of young people. The book will be indispensible for everyone concerned with mental health in the young.

The authors state with the wisdom of experience that clearly it is preferable to prevent the development of mental disorders than to try to eliminate or control them after the fact (p 32). They report on observations of several hundred young patients who had their disease diagnosed in the late 1920s, but, with rare exceptions, they received no treatment, yet were followed up about 30 years later. Among this group, 27% were judged to be neurotic, 18% psychotic,


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