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Notable New     Yorkers
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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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mental illness is one that the governors of the states are very aware of. In New York State the cost of the mental hospitals has been recently about 25 to 30 percent of the total state's operating budget, and there is some degree of this in every state, depending on how good a job they do or how poor a job they're doing. And so, in New York State the largest single item in the state's operating budget is the cost of mental hospitals. New York State does not do an ideal job for its state mental hospital patients, but Rockland State Hospital, which is part of the New York system, has been outstanding because Dr. Nathan Klein discovered the usefulness of resperin as a tranquilizer for state hospital patients, and he also discovered the usefulness of Marsalid, which was formerly called Iproniazid and which was useful against tuberculosis but more toxic that Isoniazid, and as a result of his discovery of the usefulness of Marsalid as an antidepressant, whole groups of antidepressants have been developed that are less toxic and that have eliminated the problem of deep depressions on the whole in state mental hospitals if the patients are properly treated.

Now, there are still many, many hospitals in which the staff is so inadequate and patients just don't get the medicines that should be given to them or given in the proper dosages. So, I just say that it's a problem that is potentially fixable. And there's a decline in state hospital patients because many people are getting treated outside before they have to go to state hospitals.



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