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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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which he may have. At any rate, I have something on paper, which isn't very good, but it has to be rewritten probably, and I'll go and see him and see if I can't get him to promise to do anything. You know, the biggest item is a billion dollars for mental health. They're spending only $24 million, although it's the biggest item, for research in mental illness and neurological diseases. And I'm going to try to interest them in reducing the state population, which already has been reduced by an enormous amount because of new drugs that were shown by doctors to reduce the population at state hospitals. Now there are things for people that were terribly agitated and used to have to be put in straitjackets and those who were deeply depressed. There are anti-depressant drugs now which are very effective against depression. And the state hospitals in 1955 had 93,000 people in state hospitals. This year they have 21,000. That's a fantastic decline, due to research entirely.

Q:

And a lot of them are out under medication I think.

Lasker:

Yes, I hope, and a lot of them aren't under medication. That's one of the things they could organize better if they had people with more authority and people with initiative to do it. They need money to have halfway houses for these people.

Q:

Does the state count on federal funds coming in in this area to help?



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