The Neighborhood and Family Services Project
There is a growing realization today that mental health problems cannot be met by the services of professionals alone. The Report to the President from the President’s Commission on Mental Health (1978) states that despite improvements in the current mental health service system, there are millions of Americans who remain unserved, underserved, or inappropriately served. Among those groups most underserved, as noted by the commission, are ethnic and racial minorities, the aged, and the urban poor. The commission specifically stresses the importance of community support systems (informal helping networks including friends, clergy, natural helpers, self-help groups, etc.) in meeting the needs of underserved populations and generally strengthening and maintaining the mental health of the citizenry.
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