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On July 3, 1946, Harry Truman signed the National Mental Health Act, which called for the establishment of a National Institute of Mental Health. The first meeting of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) was held on August 15. Because no federal funds had yet been appropriated for the new institute, the Greentree Foundation financed the meeting.

This act came out of the realization, post WWII, of the high percentage of mental health issues in the population. This was realized because solidiers put under stress during the war, and later psychoanalyzed upon return to the states, showed a high incidence of prior mental health issues, completely aside from the issues that might have arose from combat and wartime situations of high pressure.[1]

In other words, war time pressures had stirred up repressed mental issues in the solidiers, who were a representative statistical sample of the general population, gender aside. From this result, the government realized it had a very serious and large problem on its hands, a population with a high incidence of mental health issues, and therefore should take care of it immediately via government intervention, in the aim to cut off future social pathologies.

The Menniger brothers set about training analysts, to fill the vacuum that existed at that time.

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