Reasons for Reform
People, specifically women and children, would be committed to asylums on unjust grounds. Conditions that would deem a person "insane" include but were not limited to
- genetic defects (i.e.: Down Syndrome)
- unwanted pregnancies
- disobedience towards husbands/males
- voicing of unpopular opinion
Life in the Asylums
- patients forced into crammed, filthy cells
- patients were often chained to walls or their beds
- disobedience would result in punishments such as whipping
- physical restraints and hot/cold baths used to force patients into submission
The Straight Jacket, invented in France in 1970, was one way of keeping patients from moving around.
The Holding Chair was used to force patients into submission as punishment or way of treatment.
-The New York Times, 1880
As a Result of the Asylum Reforms...
- physical comfort of patients increased
- treatment methods improved
Widespread Recognition of Asylum Reforms
- over 20 American states were influenced by said reforms and acted accordingly
- cruel punishments were outlawed in most facilities
Influential Leaders and Contributers
- advocate for humane treatment of the mentally ill
- helped establish five hospitals for the mentally ill in America alone
- "Mental Hygiene Movement"
- dedicated 40 years to asylum and prison reforms
Doctor John Galt
- established the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Williamsburg PA, the first psychiatric hospital supported by the public
- introduced the method(s) of using medical drugs, talk therapy, and outplacement as opposed to lifelong hospitalizations