immigrants on a thoroughly adequate basis will cost money in large amount. But it is not only a good and economic investment, it is absolutely essential in order to conserve our national mental health and to ensure a normal mentality to coming generations.
Among the important agencies operating directly to promote mental public health is the present mental hygiene movement. This is a carefully organized effort of national scope, which is being directed and promoted by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene with headquarters in New York City. The field activities of this committee are under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Salmon, of the U. S. Public Health Service. The object of the committee is to popularize the correct knowledge of the causes of mental impairment, to supply agencies for furnishing advice to persons threatened with, or actually suffering from mental breakdown, and to furnish preventive social service for such cases. Insanity is a disease and a large proportion of the cases are due to preventable causes. The National Committee is also making a medical survey of the country with reference to methods of caring for the 200,000 insane of the country. At present there is a lamentable lack of uniformity in the different states, in the facilities and methods employed in insane hospitals, and the standards of care are very low in many.
III. Importance of the Immigration Station for the Public Health
Any discussion of the relation of immigration to the public health must take cognizance not alone of the mental and physical effect of incoming immigrants on the present population, but must concern itself very particularly with the selection and enforcement of the best methods of excluding the unfit. The relative importance of the leading ports of entry in number of immigrants examined is shown in the following table:
|New York (Ellis Island)||724,757||896,015||749,642||726,040|
|Total for U.S.||944,235||1,198,037||1,093,809||1143,234|
- Alfred C. Reed, "The Medical Side of Immigration," The Popular Science Monthly, April, 1912; and "Going through Ellis Island," The Popular Science Monthly, January, 1913.