Most of this monograph book centres around activities of the founders and psychiatrists-in-chief of The Clarke since its beginning in 1966. These individuals dominate the interviews primarily because they were the most visible executives.
The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry with its 30+ (1966-1997+) years of service to distressed, sick people and their families, was founded at a time when there were very few teaching, treatment and research psychiatric institutions of its kind available in Canada. It has maintained that leading role and looks forward to the next 30 years. The Clarke has seen the swing of the pendulum of therapies, social expectations and technological advances. Whether progress in mental health be judged by its caring for patients, teaching of students or research advances, The Clarke continues to be rated among the leaders in the field throughout North America.
As noted in the personal and sometimes pained interviews, The Clarke has not lived up to everyone's dream of Utopia Unlimited but the required idealism to launch adventures rarely turn out the way expected or hoped for, yet results may in someway better the original concept. The institutions that have survived and remain effective are those that have been able to change course to meet and at times pre-empt new challenges. Like stage plays that record long runs - an institution like The Clarke has to continuously make cast changes without losing its goals and impact.
The Clarke has had a relatively short existence but it has developed an impressive reputation. Thirty years is not a long period of time considering that most of the major hospitals in Europe and the United States have been in continuous existence for more than a century. The role of the modern university-driven mental hospital has superseded that of the earlier protective asylum which at best provided a quiet place away from "mean streets".
The Clarke exists for the benefit of a extended specialized population and yet needs to maintain its links to the immediate community. The measure of a hospital, no matter how renown its past is only as good as its clinical excellence and compassion currently demonstrated and available to those patients in need.
--- from the Epilogue