This book explores the impact that politics had on the management of mental health care at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 1888 and the introduction of the Local Government Act marked a turning point in which democratically elected bodies became responsible for the management of madness for the first time. With its focus on London in the period leading up to the First World War, it offers a new way to look at institutions and to consider their connections to wider issues that were facing the capital and the nation. The chapters that follow place London at the heart of international networks and debates relating to finance, welfare, architecture, scientific and medical initiatives, and the developing responses to immigrant populations. Overall, it shines a light on the relationships between mental health policies and other ideological priorities.
This book presents new perspectives on the multiplicity of voices in the histories of mental ill-health. In the thirty years since Roy Porter called on historians to lower their gaze so that they might better understand patient-doctor roles in the past, historians have sought to place the voices of previously silent, marginalised and disenfranchised individuals at the heart of their analyses. Today, the development of service-user groups and patient consultations have become an important feature of the debates and planning related to current approaches to prevention, care and treatment. This edited collection of interdisciplinary chapters offers new and innovative perspectives on mental health and illness in the past and covers a breadth of opinions, views, and interpretations from patients, practitioners, policy makers, family members and wider communities. Its chronology runs from the early modern period to the twenty-first century and includes international and transnational analyses from Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, drawing on a range of sources and methodologies including oral histories, material culture, and the built environment.
Chapter 4 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.