The Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963 was the culmination of decades of effort to achieve equity in the provision of mental health care by developing a comprehensive and coordinated network of service within the community. The statute projected the mental health profession beyond the confines of the clinical establishment into the fabric of community life. The challenge given the new mental health centers was to aid people, " ... too fearful, too angry, too alienated, too hopeless to seek any kind to help."

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