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Under another title of the same act, our state operated training school for the retarded in Brandon has received a grant for construction of a pre-placement Cottage for boys and men which will aid the transition from the institution to the community. We expect that this too will have a major effect on the total program for mentally retarded persons in Vermont.
I know there are many areas throughout the United States which will reap benefits equal or similar to those which we are beginning to see in Vermont and I urge your favorable consideration of the legislation to continue necessary aid to ease a major health problem throughout all of our states.
STATE OF Iowa, DIVISION OF MENTAL, HEALTH, Des Moines, Iowa, March 31, 1967. Hon. HARLEY STAGGERs, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, Washington, D.C. DEAR SIR: I sincerely hope that Federal legislation, H.R. 6431, continues to support the Community Mental Health Centers program. Also, that the proposal to extend for five years authorization for construction and staffing of Community Mental Health Centers will be approved. Sincerely, J. O. CROMWELL, M.D., Director, Division of Mental Health.
STATE OF DELAWARE, DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, Wilmington, Del., March 31, 1967. Hon. HARLEY O. STAGGERS, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR CongressMAN STAGGERs: As Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of Delaware and representing the Board of Trustees of that Department, I endorse H.R. 6431 which will extend for five years the financial support required for the construction and staffing of Community Mental Health Centers. Those of us who are engaged in the day-to-day and long-range development of programs for patients are convinced that Community Mental Health Centers are essential if we are to achieve our primary purpose of providing rapid and effective treatment for that substantial percentage of our population which suffers from mental illness. Recently, I was asked to supply two basic reasons for my position favoring the support of the Community Mental Health Center plan as envisioned in the present legislation. I replied that, first, Federal assistance is needed because under present tax structures there are not sufficient funds for local and State governments to provide the services that are needed in a Community Mental Health Center. And, second, the Community Mental Health Center plan makes it possible to treat the patient close to his home and close also to all of the resources he will need for rehabilitation. There are, of course, many other reasons. Our Delaware State Mental Health Plan includes as a major development for the future the establishment of these centers to cover the entire State. It is likely that some members of this honorable Committee, as well as others attending the hearing, have seen the new documentary picture, “Bold New Approach,” which was premiered in the New Senate Office Building on March 21 under the sponsorship of Senator Lister Hill. This picture daramtically portrays the advantages of the Community Mental Health Center. The ability of the facility depicted to receive and begin immediate treatment for the two patients is most striking. A succession of Congresses has shown strong interest in the problems involved in mental therapy in the onrushing 20th Century. What is proposed in House Resolution 6431 is far-sighted and is in keeping with creative legislation of recent years in this field.
The bill extends the construction program through 1972, a wise move, since it gives planners in the States a chance to look ahead and plan carefully. It extends the staffing program, a basic requirement because competent staffing is the heart of modern treatment programs. This legislation would also permit recipients to use funds for the acquisition of existing buildings—and for the remodeling or alteration of existing buildings. It further requires that State mental health plans must include enforcement of adequate community center standards.
This bill, if enacted into law, will assist in the improved treatment of many thousands of men and women suffering from mental illness. It will mean that they will be able to return to their families more swiftly and with more assurance that their rehabilitation will be successful.
Thank you for permitting me to take this much of your time.
STATE OF INDIANA,
The Honorable HARLEY STAGGERS,
DEAR CONGRESSMAN STAGGERs: I am writing to express the State of Indiana's support for H.R. 6431 which extends federal programs for the construction and staffing of community mental health centers.
Indiana’s Plan for Development of Comprehensive Mental Health Services, developed by the Indiana Mental Health Planning Commission, strongly recommended the continuation of federal programs for both construction and initial staffing. In point of fact, the Commission's recommendations and subsequent legislation were predicated on continuation of federal support. It was the initial federal legislation, first for planning, then for construction, and finally for initial staffing that inspired the State of Indiana to move strongly into the community mental health progam.
Important measures passed by the 95th Indiana General Assembly show the state's willingness to participate with the Federal Government and County Governments in the development of desperately needed community programs for the mentally ill and retarded. One measure replenishes the state's matching fund for construction and operation of community centers to the extent of approximately $10,000,000 over the next four years, the money to come from a portion of cigarette tax revenues. Another act broadens the definition of community centers for the mentally ill and retarded, gives counties permission to issue bonds as well as levy a 10 cent property tax to finance facilities, and says that counties may support a center in a neighboring state that serves Indiana residents.
Indiana has truly put into practice the philosophy expressed in the late President Kennedy's mental health address to the Congress in which he called for a sharing of the responsibility and cost among the three major subdivisions of government—Federal, State and Local Governments. Every region in the state is actively planning for community mental health services. Our state hospitals are rapidly readjusting their treatment programs to become an integral part of these expanding community programs. By June 30, 1967, Indiana should have five approved mental health centers.
At least three more applications will be submitted during the 1968 fiscal year. It would be disastrous to the mental health program in Indiana if federal sup# was to stop with the end of the present authorization which is June 30, 1967.
The Indiana Mental Health Planning Commission and all interested agencies, organizations and individuals join with me in requesting approval of all sections of HR 6431.
STATE OF KANSAS, STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE, Topeka, Kans., April 3, 1967. The Honorable HARLEY STAGGERs, U.S. Representative, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR CongressMAN STAGGERs: Please let us express our earnest endorsement of H.R. 6431, which would extend for five years the authorization for construction and staffing of Community Mental Health Centers. Our experience with the current legislation has been quite encouraging because it has stimulated in a number of ways improvements in the mental health program. First, it has aroused interest in adequate, thorough, and timely treatment of mentally ill patients wherever they need treatment. Secondly, it has stimulated interest in preventive measures and brought out some effective social action in areas closely related to mental health. Third, it has improved morale of mental health workers and encouraged them to make more effective use of facilities already present in the community. We are especially eager to see the extension made not only because two centers have been established, but because others are potentially in the planning stages. Four communities at least are making efforts to provide the local matching funds and to educate the elements of the community to the needs for the service. With the extension of the bill we can foresee the development of comprehensive services in four or five areas within the near future that would fulfill a great need on the part of a very large number of people. Thus, both because of the effective help this bill has given our state in the past three years and the effective help we foresee in the near future, we would like to add our request that your committee consider the bill favorably.
Very truly yours,
THE CoMMON weALTH of MAssacPIUSETTS, DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, Boston, Mass., March 31, 1967. Congressman HARLEY STAGGERs, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR CoNGRESSMAN STAGGERs: As Commissioner of Mental Health in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I would like to put myself on record as strongly supporting H.R. 6431. Sincerely yours, HARRY C. SolomoN, M.D., Commissioner.
STATE of VERMoNT,
The Honorable HARLEY STAGGERs,
DEAR MR. STAGGERs: I understand that the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee will convene on April 4th and 5th for the purpose of considering extension of the community mental health centers construction act and the provision for aiding in the cost of staffing such centers.
This act has made possible major strengthening and improvement of comprehensive community mental health programs in many states. In Vermont in one of our less economically developed areas which is sparcely populated, the federal aid for both construction and aid in the cost of staffing have provided part of the cost of development of such a program and has stimulated both in professional people and the entire community to take effective action in development of a unique mental health program.
I know there are many other such programs throughout the United States in early development stages which will be significantly impaired if this act is not continued. I urge the support of your committee in making a favorable report for extension of the community mental health center construction and staffing act.
THE STATE of WISCONSIN, STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, DIVISION of MENTAL HYGIENE, Madison, Wis., April 3, 1967. The Honorable HARLEY STAGGERs, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN STAGGERs: It is my understanding that your Committee will be considering H.R. 6431 concerning the extension of authorization for construction and staffing of community mental health centers.
Although there have been some problems in the implementation of this program, it is my opinion that it is a most valuable one and an essential one to extend.
In Wisconsin, local communities have long had considerable financial responsibility in the development of mental health services. We have a great deal of investment in the continuation of the development of such services. The state agencies of Wisconsin having responsibility in this matter are working aggressively to assist communities to use the provisions of this legislation, and it is our opinion this program will develop very soundly during the next five years and will result in mental health services being available to people in their local communities on a much more uniform basis.
UTAH STATE HospitaL, Provo, Utah, March 31, 1967.
Congressman HARLEY STAGGERS,
DEAR CongressMAN STAGGERs: It is my understanding that hearings will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4th and 5th, by the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, on the Administration's proposal to extend for five years authorization for construction and staffing of Community Mental Health Centers (H.R. 6431).
Many states, particularly in the intermountain region, have difficulties in having enough time to plan and to finance Comprehensive Centers. The State of Utah has had particular difficulties in this area. At the present time we do have one Comprehensive Mental Health Center in operation and this was accomplished only through the staffing and construction grant. Further development of any Comprehensive Mental Health Centers or mental retardation centers within the State of Utah will be contingent upon an extension of the legislation.
I strongly support and urge that the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee recommend the Administration's proposal to extend for five years authorization for construction and staffing of Comprehensive Mental Health Centers.
Sincerely, GoRDoN S. Johnson, M.D., Superintendent Utah State Hospital, and Member, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.
Congressman HARLEY O. STAGGERs, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.: Urge favorable consideration of Administration's proposal to extend for five years authorization for construction and staffing of community mental health centers (H.R. 6431). Much planning and essential community organization presently underway in West Virginia with involvement of major communities throughout the state. However, it is vital that authorization be extended for orderly planning and phasing of projects over a five year period in line with existing state and community resources. Community mental health services and facilities considered only feasible approach to meeting burgeoning problem in
the state and in the nation.
Governor of West Virginia.
[Telegram] ALBANY, N.Y., April 6, 1967. The Honorable HARLEY O. STAGGERs, Chairman, House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
The provisions of P.L. 88–164 and P.L. 89–105 have been important factors in assisting the State department of mental hygiene and local governments in the construction and staffing of mental health centers throughout New York State. According to the State mental health plan, 112 more community mental health centers are needed. Only 16 of these are in the construction planning phase. An even greater disparity exists in regard to mental retardation facilities. It is urgent that Federal assistance be continued so that these present needs for facilities can become future realities.
I strongly urge enactment by Congress of H.R. 6431, Mental Health Amendments of 1967, so that the Federal Government can continue in cooperation with the States and local governments to assure all residents the best in mental health Services.
NELSoN A. RocKEFELLER, Governor.
[Telegram] HARTFoRD, CoNN., April 4, 1967. Congressman HARLEY STAGGERs, Chairman, Interstate and Foreign Comerce Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Urge favorable consideration by your committee of H.R. 6431 proposing to extend for five years authorization for construction and staffing of community mental health centers. This program is one of the most useful ever sponsored by the Federal Government to aid and stimulate the most forward looking programs for care, treatment and rehabilitation of the mentally ill. In Connecticut the program already has been of great value in one mental health center now operating in the city of New Haven and in the development of a second planned for the city of Bridgeport. Continuation of the program will provide encouragement and support for further development of plans on which rest the hopes of thousands of citizens.
JoBIN DEMPSEY, Governor.
HoNorABLE HARLEY STAGGERs,
I urge favorable consideration of H.R. 6431, which would extend the authorization for construction and staffing of community mental health centers. The present legislation has stimulated interest in the communities throughout the