Editor: Waltraud Ernst

This edited book offers a systematic critical appraisal of the uses of work and work therapy in psychiatric institutions across the globe, from the late eighteenth to the end of the twentieth century. Contributors explore the daily routine in psychiatric institutions within the context of the wider socio-political and economic conditions. They examine whether work was therapy, part of a regime of punishment, or a means of exploiting free labour. By focusing on mental patients’ day-to-day life in closed institutions, the authors fill a gap in the history of psychiatric regimes. The geographic scope is wide, ranging from Northern America to Japan, India and Western as well as Eastern Europe, and authors engage with broader historical questions, such as the impact of colonialism and communism, the effect of the World Wars, and issues of political governance and care in the community schemes.

Vicky Long

‘management’ or ‘control’ of patients appear to be interchangeable.31 Nor had things radically changed by 1929 in a description of the job of the mental nurse, when the author claimed that ‘her patients may be unpleasant, abusive, filthy in habits and language, or ungrateful, suspicious, unwilling and resistive . . . her sympathy, kindliness and tact must be abundant to overflowing for a mental patient . . . is amenable to nothing else’.32 Contributors to the journal often advanced the argument that attendants’ calls for better wages and conditions were justified by the

in Destigmatising mental illness?
Tommy Dickinson

an ill-defined diagnosis such as dementia praecox.17 Psychiatrists wanted effective therapies and an improved understanding of mental patients.18 In keeping with the ethos of the new Act, they were seeking to treat and cure patients, enabling them to return to their homes and into employment.19 Not only were there changes in the legislative framework, the therapeutic options for treating psychiatric patients were being transformed during the 1930s. There was a spirit of optimism within psychiatry, as new somatic treatments were introduced, which provided hope to

in ‘Curing queers’
Matthew M. Heaton

certified mental patients, despite the fact that they were being transported for psychiatric purposes. This made the prospect of transporting unstable individuals somewhat unappetising for the company. However, Elder Dempster also desired to maintain good relations with the British government and to continue to enjoy a privileged position as a monopoly over public shipping to and from West Africa. This sometimes

in Beyond the state
Akira Hashimoto

Within these three fields, work and activity for mental patients has the longest history, being associated with the reform of psychiatric institutions in the early twentieth century, which was initiated by elite psychiatrists who had studied in Europe, especially in Germany and Austria.4 This chapter explores the history of work and OT in modern Japan, focusing on the changing context of work and activity in mental hospitals and the professionalisation of occupational therapists during a period when Japan fluctuated between Western and Japanese modernity. It will be

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
Osamu Nakamura

Mental Hospital was established in 1884, and it became increasingly difficult for inns to receive mentally ill patients after the Japanese government enforced the Mental Patients’ Custody Act in 1900.20 A new building was constructed in 1899 and by 1905 forty-three patients were resident in the institution.21 When the premises were set on fire by a patient in 1907, with seventy-two patients resident at that time,22 new buildings were constructed in the neighbourhood in 1909 (figure 8.4) and the hospital developed steadily under the leadership of its director, Eikichi

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
Healthcare professionals and the BBC
Vicky Long

. Cross, for example, examined how a Panorama programme on community supervision orders reinforced its message that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia were dangerous by visualising sufferers of mental illness as dishevelled and easily identifiable madmen. In so doing, Cross argued, the programme called into question ‘the wisdom of current British mental health policy in which potentially dangerous mental patients are living among us unsupervised’.8 Similarly, ‘A Place of Safety’, a two-­part documentary broadcast by ITV in 1993, sought to persuade 196

in Destigmatising mental illness?
Valentin-Veron Toma

9 Work and occupation in Romanian psychiatry, c. 1838–1945 Valentin-Veron Toma Along with other types of occupation, such as reading, writing and sporting activities, work has been used as a form of therapy in Romanian psychiatry from the mid-nineteenth century. For example, the first workshops for mental patients were created at the Mărcuța asylum in Bucharest in 1855, just seventeen years after the institutionalisation of psychiatry in the Romanian principalities. Work and other occupations were considered appropriate mainly in the treatment of long

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
Mirrored narratives of sanity and madness
Vicky Long

patients’ speech was believed to have no meaning. The creation of a nationwide network of asylums under the terms of the Lunatics Act of 1845 in turn forged a community of mental patients with a shared experience of confinement and shaped the development of the emergent psychiatric profession. In 1841, asylum superintendents established the Association of Medical Officers of Asylums for the Insane, the forerunner of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.12 Twelve years later, the Association established the Asylum Journal of Mental Science (hereafter the JMS; it dropped 28

in Destigmatising mental illness?
Patient work at the provincial mental hospitals in British Columbia, Canada, 1885–1920
Kathryn McKay

wisdom of liberally providing means of diversion for the insane is so generally admitted that the question is scarcely, if at all, in the field of controversy … Encouragement has been given them to work in the shops, in the gardens, on the lawns and in various departments of the farm. We have found that work, and especially work in the open air and in open and healthy surroundings, is of the utmost value to mental patients. Being a factor in the production of health and happiness, it also becomes a means of cure.2 This chapter examines how medical superintendents

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015