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Thesis (M.S.)

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One of the most promising and controversial reactions to the indications of the growing inability of professional mental health practitioners to train sufficient manpower to effectively cope with an increased future need for their services (Albee, 1959) has been the utilization of nonprofessionals such as middle-aged housewives, retired people, and indigenous inner-city residents. One of the largest additions into these nonprofessional mental health roles has been college students. The past decade has witnessed the emergence of a number of volunteer companion and environmental change programs instituted in mental hospital "chronic" wards by students and their universities (Umbarger et al. , 1962) that have been shown to be of benefit to the ward residents (Holzberg and Knapp, 1965; Beck, Kantor and Gileneau, 1963) . It is particularly in this type of setting, dealing with the neglected people of our society (e.g. geriatrics, chronic schizophrenics, and the retarded) that the nonprofessionals can be of valuable service. The professional may avoid intensive work in such institutions not because of the lack of treatment skills, but because these opportunities lack the challenge, excitment, and financial rewards of private practice and clinic affiliation.