Every country’s Government’s primary job is to provide a better life for the people. One way to show commitment to serve the country is to ensure its inhabitants’ safety and meeting the nation’s health requirements. American Governments over the years have been very active and concerned about safeguarding the interests of their people. President Kennedy during his regime introduced many reforms. From space leadership to economic welfare, his improvisations were not limited to a single sphere. In his efforts to provide the finest facilities to his fellow Americans, President Kennedy signed the mental health act formally known as National Mental Health Act. By signing the mental health act, President Kennedy ensured the provision of foremost mental health care to the patients.
A brief delving into the history of mental health would help to understand why the National Health Act was necessary. After the Second World War, it became imperative for nations to take care of their individuals’ well-being, be it physical or mental. In the United States, an action for Mental Health was given to the Congress in 1961. The purpose of this action was to evaluate and determine the mental health conditions and resources throughout America. It worked with a mission to come up with a national program that would be sufficient in meeting the needs of Americans, who are mentally ill.
In 1963 the then President, John F Kennedy suggested and signed the Mental health act which further led to the formulation of the community mental health center movement. The mental health act came into existence because after the Second World War, and the Great Depression people were prone to succumb to mental problems and illnesses. Poor mental health issues were surfacing on the statistics. Soldiers coming back from war also reported mental strains. They were psychoanalyzed, and the results showed that wartime situations had made the soldiers suffer from a lot of pressure. This made the Government realize that mental health is a serious issue and of many consequences, and it needed to be curbed. So to avoid any social anomaly, mental health act was passed. This, in effect, resulted in the substitution of comprehensive community care for custodial institutional care. As a result of this the first meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council was held on August 15, the positive results of the National Mental Health Act seemed started appearing. To finance the new-born Institute, Greentree Foundation supplied the finances for the meeting. This was done as no federal funds had been allocated for the Institute.
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As a result of the above efforts the CMHC (Community Mental Health Center) Acts Amendments of 1965 were achieved. This also included major provisions such as the provision of staffing grants to centers and extension of monetary assistance to alcohol and substance abuse disorder facilities. These grants were given to support the commencement of the long-term process that entailed the development of mental health services in areas where poverty thrived. Apart from this, a new program was also initiated to extend monetary assistance for children’s services. For the Mental health act to achieve its aims, it is essential that the Federal Government creates criteria for organizations to qualify as a “Community Behavioral Health Center” and also grants be given accordingly for capital advancement. The Government should also keep a routine check on the functioning of such centers.
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