JANUARY 16, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday was certainly a day packed full of interest. Mrs. Lewis Thompson met me and we visited the Marlboro Hospital for the Insane, in Monmouth County, New Jersey. It is extremely interesting because it is built on the cottage plan. This is by far the most successful way of treating patients with mental disorders, or for that matter, patients with any ailment that means a long period of hospitalization.
We met here with some of the group of Mennonites, who are conscientious objectors, and who have volunteered to serve in hospitals for mental cases. They are a very fine group of young men and bring a spiritual quality to their work because of their religion. In many ways, this is probably raising the standard of care given the patients.
From there we went to call on General Van Dusen at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Here I saw a most interesting laboratory project where women are being trained to work in producing the necessary crystals for radio work. This is precision work, but requires only a high school education, though there are women working in this plant who have degrees of many kinds and, of course, do many other kinds of work.
I had a long talk with General Clewell and Captain Freedman, who are in charge of the psychiatric clinic here. This is the only complete clinic of its kind in a classification center and I cannot help believing that it should be duplicated in every classification center in the country, particularly now that eighteen and nineteen-year-old boys are being inducted.
In New York City they have carried on an experiment in a small way with psychiatric social workers and nurses in the induction centers. Some schools have furnished histories of their graduates which can be used as background examinations at induction time. Even if this could be done everywhere which, of course, is not being done, there would still be a need for the more careful work that can be done at a classification center. All the military people who have watched this work attest to its usefulness, and are tremendously proud of what has been achieved at Fort Monmouth.
We had lunch in the USO cafeteria in Red Bank, N. J., which was crowded, so I sat on a stool at the counter and munched my sandwich and drank my cup of coffee. Then I met with the ladies of the press and attended the Monmouth County Social Welfare annual meeting and spoke on such aspects of the British scene, as might have some connection with the welfare work of the association.
But I have only half finished my day, and I shall have to tell you more about it tomorrow.