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In 1860, inmates built a stone wall around the Toronto Lunatic Asylum to separate themselves from prying eyes. The lunatic asylum has played a continuing role in historical attempts to deal with mental health, injecting tragic, almost gothic overtones of geographical isolation, medical experimentation, and social control into public perceptions of the field. In Mental Heal In 1860, inmates built a stone wall around the Toronto Lunatic Asylum to separate themselves from prying eyes. The lunatic asylum has played a continuing role in historical attempts to deal with mental health, injecting tragic, almost gothic overtones of geographical isolation, medical experimentation, and social control into public perceptions of the field. In Mental Health and Canadian Society leading researchers challenge generalisations about the mentally ill and the history of mental health in Canada. Considering the period from colonialism to the present, they examine such issues as the rise of the insanity plea, the Victorian asylum as a tourist attraction, the treatment of First Nations people in western mental hospitals, and post-World War II psychiatric research into LSD. Their original conclusions challenge us to rethink present mental health policies, which continue to be influenced by an imagined history of the lunatic asylum. Contributors include Andri Cellard (Ottawa), Ian Dowbiggin (Prince Edward Island), Erika Dyck (Alberta), Judith Fingard (Dalhousie), Allison Kirk-Montgomery (Toronto), Robert Menzies (Simon Fraser), Janet Miron (Trent), James Moran (Prince Edward Island), Thierry Nootens (Sherbrooke), Ted Palys (Simon Fraser), Geoffrey Reaume (York), John Rutherford (Dalhousie), Marie-Claude Thifault (Hearst), David Wright (McMaster).


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In 1860, inmates built a stone wall around the Toronto Lunatic Asylum to separate themselves from prying eyes. The lunatic asylum has played a continuing role in historical attempts to deal with mental health, injecting tragic, almost gothic overtones of geographical isolation, medical experimentation, and social control into public perceptions of the field. In Mental Heal In 1860, inmates built a stone wall around the Toronto Lunatic Asylum to separate themselves from prying eyes. The lunatic asylum has played a continuing role in historical attempts to deal with mental health, injecting tragic, almost gothic overtones of geographical isolation, medical experimentation, and social control into public perceptions of the field. In Mental Health and Canadian Society leading researchers challenge generalisations about the mentally ill and the history of mental health in Canada. Considering the period from colonialism to the present, they examine such issues as the rise of the insanity plea, the Victorian asylum as a tourist attraction, the treatment of First Nations people in western mental hospitals, and post-World War II psychiatric research into LSD. Their original conclusions challenge us to rethink present mental health policies, which continue to be influenced by an imagined history of the lunatic asylum. Contributors include Andri Cellard (Ottawa), Ian Dowbiggin (Prince Edward Island), Erika Dyck (Alberta), Judith Fingard (Dalhousie), Allison Kirk-Montgomery (Toronto), Robert Menzies (Simon Fraser), Janet Miron (Trent), James Moran (Prince Edward Island), Thierry Nootens (Sherbrooke), Ted Palys (Simon Fraser), Geoffrey Reaume (York), John Rutherford (Dalhousie), Marie-Claude Thifault (Hearst), David Wright (McMaster).

19 review for Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "Mental Health and Canadian Society" is a collection of essays that each provide a unique, historical perspective on an aspect of mental health. Perspectives are in context of a specific region, social environment and viewpoint--from the patient, researcher or medical professional's point-of-view. I chose this book as I'm doing research on how mental health was perceived and treated in the early 1900's in Canada, with a special interest in treatment of depression. Collectively the essays provide "Mental Health and Canadian Society" is a collection of essays that each provide a unique, historical perspective on an aspect of mental health. Perspectives are in context of a specific region, social environment and viewpoint--from the patient, researcher or medical professional's point-of-view. I chose this book as I'm doing research on how mental health was perceived and treated in the early 1900's in Canada, with a special interest in treatment of depression. Collectively the essays provided some insight via discussions on Asylums in Ontario and Montreal and the patients lives within, psychiatric research that included an essay on the use of LSD for studying mental disorders such as Schizophrenia, among others. I was hoping to get specifics on depression, alas it was not mentioned in any of the essays; they focused more on institutionalization of individuals with mental health disorders without specificity of patients' diagnoses or symptoms. However, overall an insightful and interesting book that sheds light on historical aspects of mental health, demonstrates the progress we've made, and how much more there is still to go.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    So I had to read this for my History of Madness Class. Don't let the dates fool you, I started it back in September, and have subsequently read through all the chapters during various weeks for class. Overall, I liked it. I really like Janet Miron's article, as well as Reaume, Dyck and the Menzies/Palys articles. Some were a little more "dry" in my opinion, but that is more likely because they weren't directed more towards my own interests in the history of mental illness. For anyone interested So I had to read this for my History of Madness Class. Don't let the dates fool you, I started it back in September, and have subsequently read through all the chapters during various weeks for class. Overall, I liked it. I really like Janet Miron's article, as well as Reaume, Dyck and the Menzies/Palys articles. Some were a little more "dry" in my opinion, but that is more likely because they weren't directed more towards my own interests in the history of mental illness. For anyone interested in an accessible and expansive history of mental health and treatment, I'd give this a read. There's a wide variety of topics covered, and it's pretty interesting, overall. it also raises a lot of questions about how mental illness is treated and seen in today's society.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aenny

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joel Trono-Doerksen

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carly

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashlynn

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Landers

  10. 5 out of 5

    J

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lockman

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

  13. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  16. 5 out of 5

    Del

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe Meeton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Reed

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janine Maybee

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