Missouri was one of the first states to link its mental health facilities through a computer network. It is based at the Missouri Institute of Psychiatry in St. Louis and has terminals at ten other major facilities across the state. The system is used for both clinical and administrative data. The Missouri mental health program turned to automation to solve major problems involving the most efficient allocation of scarce resources-manpower and money. In his description of the first five years of a seven-year program aimed at developing statewide automation, the author deals with the advantages of using the computer for the storage and retrieval of clinical and managerial data, prerequisites to initiating a computer-based program, ways to increase staff acceptance of automation, and decisions about ordering hardware.