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The papers presented in this volume deal with current efforts to maintain mental health at optimum level on a community-wide basis. Each from its own vantage point focuses on the surge to find means for sustaining and furthering the mental and emotional health of all—in contrast to exclusive preoccupations with curing the emotional distress or mental illness of first one individual and then another.
The idea for investigating theory and practice in this area stemmed from the mutual concern of the Community Services Committee, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Health. An advisory committee of experts lent direction and background.
It seemed to all concerned that the field of mental health promotion was becoming so broad and its activities so diverse as to call for survey, and that it would also be important to know the theoretical basis of all these efforts and the extent of their effectiveness.