The bill aimed to build 1,500 mental health centers to treat people while they worked and lived at home, rather than being housed for years in often-abusive state institutions.
The last piece of legislation President John F. Kennedy signed,the Transformative Community Mental Health Act, marks its 50th anniversary Oct. 31.
Recent events including deadly mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard have focused public attention on how the nation is treating mental illness.
It's clear Kennedy's vision was never fully realized. While the legislation helped usher in positive changes, it was never fully funded so many of the sickest people have no where to turn.