This little volume is a concrete and symbolic representation of the impact of broad social, cultural, and intellectual changes upon a social institution. It is a reflection of trends in psychiatry and patient care as attempts are being made to apply the causal concepts of social psychiatry to programs of community psychiatry. Volunteerism had its roots in philanthropy. As welfare and medical institutions extended from small voluntary origins into wider social programs volunteer activities moved with the process. Today, with leisure time available to persons from various economic and social stations, there is a significant resource to achieve a wider distribution of community services for mentally ill persons.
This monograph is a compilation of papers presented at a statewide conference in Massachusetts in October 1965. The conference was convened by the Massachusetts Mental Health Association for the Mental Health Committee on Volunteers. The purpose was to identify trends, new approaches,