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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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have probably done something to help, and that is the old stigma that was attached to the thought ofseeking psychiatric aid. I mean, this meant that a person was stamped with mental illness, and this was just a part of our thinking. Have you been interested in that area as an attempt to alleviate it?


Well, I've only been interested in it the sense that I've been interested in the usefulness of drugs to help people who were so severely ill that they had to be hospitalized to get out, and the minute a disease can be treated with drugs, then it becomes respectable, comparatively speaking, and then the whole subject can be discussed and shame becomes dissipated. The minute you will be able to cure cancer, people won't try to concea the fact that they or somebody has cancer, you know, which they do now.

Another outstanding psychiatrist, whose books I'd read in the late '30s, was Karl Menninger, the author of Man Against Himself and Love Against Hate. I met him in New York when he was being reanalyzed himself in 1937 or '38 and became a friend of his. When Menninger and his father and brother decided to found the Menninger Foundation early in the '40s, Karl came to see me and asked me to be one of its first trustees. The Menningers have done a superb job of training psychiatrists in Topeka. They are men of great energy and human sympathy, warmth, and ability to do the work not only of their own clinic but to train and help to run the psychiatric service of the Veterans Hospital in Topeka and also the Kansas State Hospital for the Mentally Ill.

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