George Albee dies at 84

By The National Psychologist Editor
September 1, 2006 - Last updated: May 31, 2011

George Albee, Ph.D., was recognized for his early advocacy of prevention and other proactive approaches to mental health. His 1959 landmark book, Mental Health Manpower Trends, influenced the study commission appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower and his ideas incorporated concepts of consultation and prevention in a proposed community mental health system.

Albee died July 8 at his home in Longboat Key, Fla. Albee, 84, was past president of the American Psychological Association and a retired professor at the University of Vermont. He also was an occasional contributor to The National Psychologist.

“Community psychology has never really blossomed like we thought when we started thinking how best to deliver mental health services to the 40 million Americans who have some problems recognized by the DSM,” Albee told The National Psychologist in an interview for an article in 2000 in which he was named among leading psychologists in the last half of the last century.

Albee believed that social ills presented many of the causes of mental illness. He once said that a three-fold increase in the minimum wage would solve many of the nation’s mental health problems among the working poor.

In 1951, Albee went to Washington, D.C., to work for the APA as assistant executive secretary when the organization had 5,000 members. Among his lasting contributions was the creation of APA’s first public information office.

During his long career, Albee taught 16 years at Western Reserve University in Cleveland and once served as president of the Ohio Psychological Association.

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