APRIL 25, 1958
SARASOTA, Fla.—I visited Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, Long Island, N.Y., a few days ago and found it one of the most interesting institutions I have seen.
It was founded by some Jewish doctors who thought that mental illness was more frequent among the Jewish people than among others. But they soon discovered they were wrong, that there were people of every race and religion who needed help to gain and preserve mental health.
People who go to Hillside pay what they are able to pay. There is an out-patient clinic and resident patients are accepted when necessary.
The entire area looks like a delightful college campus. There is plenty of space for games and for sunning.
The doctors and the nurses seem to have a remarkable approach to the whole problem of mental illness, and it was stimulating to visit a place where patients are expected to get well and are not accepted unless they can be returned to health.
None of the patients stay more than a year. The average stay, I believe, is about six months. This makes the atmosphere one of hope and gives the patients an incentive to cooperate as much as possible in the treatment they are given.
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I want to mention a publication brought out under the auspices of 32 non-government mental organizations under the chairmanship of John R. Inman of the Church Peace Union. It is called "In Your Hands."
This is a small paperback volume which I had the honor of presenting to the members of the Human Rights Commission. It will remind us that this year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I think, too, it will prompt us to examine our own situation regarding these rights. How many do we really implement? How many do we care about? How many do we take the trouble to see that we individually live up to and that our communities live up to wherever we have a say in the matter?
Whenever a violation of human rights, such as discrimination, takes place in areas where it is possible to be corrected, are we on the side of those who fight to do away with discrimination or are we among those who turn out backs and hope that somebody else will do the disagreeable job of standing up for things we know to be right?
"In Your Hands" means literally that much is "in our hands" that ordinarily we do not grasp.