In 1860, inmates built a brick 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.
“a must-read for anyone interested in the history of psychiatry in Canada.”
Brenda A. LeFrancois
“a fascinating, readable collection of essays on some of the newest research in the field” Wendy Mitchinson
Tables, Figures, and Map ix
DVID WRIGHT AND JAMES E. MORAN
1 “Open to the Public”: Touring Ontario Asylums in the Nineteenth Century 19
2 “For Years We Have Never Had a Happy Home”: Madness and Families in Nineteenth-Century Montreal 49
3 Patients at Work: Insane Asylum Inmates’ Labour in Ontario,
4 The Uses of Asylums: Resistance, Asylum Propaganda, and
Institutionalization Strategies in Turn-of-the-Century Quebec 97
ANDRÉ CELLARD AND MARIE-CLAUDE THIFAULT
5 “Loaded Revolvers”: Ontario’s First Forensic Psychiatrists 117
6 Turbulent Spirits: Aboriginal Patients in the British Columbia Psychiatric
System, 1879–1950 149
ROBERT MENZIES AND TED PALYS
7 “Prescription for Survival”: Brock Chisholm, Sterilization, and
Mental Health in the Cold War Era 176
8 Social Disintegration, Problem Pregnancies, Civilian Disasters: Psychiatric
Research in Nova Scotia in the 1950s 193
JUDITH FINGARD AND JOHN RUTHERFORD
9 Prairie Psychedelics: Mental Health Research in Saskatchewan,
Selected Bibliography 245
Contributors include André 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).
About the Editors:
James Moran is professor, history, University of Prince Edward Island, and the author of Committed to the State Asylum: Insanity, the Asylum and Society in Nineteenth-Century Ontario and Quebec.
David Wright is Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, McMaster University, and the co-editor of The Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965.