Community programs take on a variety of forms. In mental health, among the most significant are community mental health centers, which offer a variety of services and take a public health approach to the prevention and treatment of mental health problems. Community mental health centers received a boost on October 31, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Act. This legislation provided the funding for more than 2,000 community mental health centers in the United States. However, the breadth of community programs far exceeds community mental health centers. This entry discusses the rationale for community programs and details a variety of types of community programs, including 12-step, health, school, and development programs. Some of the issues addressed through these ...

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