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U.S. Mission Returns from Israel with Plan for Improving Mental Health in Jewish State

Israel has not only the mental health problems common to all countries, but, in addition, is confronted with problems of adjustment induced by the mass immigration of 300,000 people in one year, including 50,000 orphaned children “into a new and war-torn country,” according to a statement issued by the Mental Health Mission to Israel, whose members returned yesterday on the Queen Elizabeth.

The statement pointed out that the mental health problem has not overwhelmed the Israel Government because of the efforts of its Health Department and other agencies both in and outside the country. A long range mental health program has been evolved with the cooperation of the Mission, starting with a two-year emergency training program to provide personnel for preventive medicine and education. To institute this two-year program, additional funds, to the amount of approximately $250,000, are urgently needed for the training of personnel and the expansion of present hospital facilities. Funds will be provided by the American fund for Israel Institutions.

The mission was sent to Israel September 5th at the request of the Israel Health Ministry by the American Committee on Mental Health in Israel, a beneficiary of the American Fund for Israel Institutions, to survey mental health problems and to aid in the setting up of an overall mental health program. The mission included Dr. Dale C. Cameron, assistant director of the National Mental Health Institute of the United States Public Health Service; Dr. M. Ralph Kaufman, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association and Dr. Paul Friedman, co-chairman of the American Committee on Mental Health in Israel.

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