Alma Z. Menn

Associate in research at the MRI

A. C. S. W., associate in research at the MRI. Researcher, administrator and director of the Soteria Project, an alternative to hospitalization for schizophrenics; a project funded by the National Institute for Mental Health Centers for Studies of Schizophrenia, (NIMH) in Bethesda. Soteria House opened in May 1971 (photo beside), followed by the opening of a second facility called Emanon (“no name” spelled backwards).

Mauro Mariotti: When I arrived in Palo Alto in a dilapidated hotel on University Avenue, the Cardinal hotel, Alma Menn proposed that I go and help the staff of the Soteria house project, a multi-million dollar project financed by the democratic government and subsequently closed due to the change of government with consequent change in the destination of the funds. I replied that I didn’t speak English well enough to be able to interact with the kids (I would later found various centers, similar in principle, in Italy). I still remember her look, somewhere between benevolent and irritated, as she replied “They speak schizophrenic, not English, you’ll see, you’ll succeed!”




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