The Retreat, York Wellcome Images, L0012306 CC by 4.0

The Retreat, York
Wellcome Images, L0012306
CC by 4.0

Mental Illness



Articles concerning the issues of mental illness

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  • Brigham, AmariahIn the summer of 1842, Dr. Brigham was appointed Superintendent of the New York State Lunatic Asylum, at Utica. The institution was opened on the 16th of January, 1843. From this time, until the period of his death, he was unceasing in his devotion to the great cause of humanity in which he was engaged....Dr. Brigham was not only desirous of establishing an institution which should be creditable to the State, but, in order that our citizens should avail themselves of its advantages, he labored to diffuse a more extended knowledge of the subject of insanity. This he did by popular lectures, and by embodying in his reports details of the causes, the early symptoms, and means of prevention.
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  • Care Of The Insane In New York (1736 - 1912)In the year 1736 a building known as the “Publick Workhouse and House of Corrections of the City of New York” was built on the site where the City Hall now stands, and under its roof the insane were confined, together with the unruly, the destitute, the aged and the infirm. In the description of its interior allusion is made to a strong room or cage for the refractory on the west side of the cellar. A newspaper of the year 1776 contains mention of an order from some one in authority whereby five or six English soldiers were sent to convey a crazy woman to the workhouse.
  • Chapin, John B., M.D., LL.D.A bill was drawn and passed on April 6, 1865, creating the new asylum, which was named the Willard Asylum in memory of Dr. Willard, who died just before its final passage. This bill was drawn by Dr. Willard and Dr. Cook at Canandaigua, and Dr. Chapin was often consulted as to its phraseology and scope. The title of the bill was ‘An Act to Authorize the Establishment of a State Asylum for the Chronic Insane and for the Better Care of the Insane Poor.’ Sections of the law stating its purpose to remove the chronic insane from the almshouses to the new asylum and making it mandatory to transfer and in future commit all acute cases to the asylum at Utica were mainly Dr. Chapin's own composition.
  • Colony For Epileptics (1914)Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. It’s also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.
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  • Hoyt, Dr. Charles S.Some of the most severe physical strains upon Dr. Hoyt were in connection with the exemption of counties from the operation of the Willard Asylum act of 1865, designed to relieve the almshouses of their insane. The Willard Asylum was opened in December, 1869, for the chronic insane and was soon filled to overcrowding from the county almshouses.
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  • Poor House Conditions: Albany County, New York - 1864In 1824 the New York State legislature enacted the "County Poorhouse Act," a measure that called for one or more poorhouses to be built or established in each county. Thenceforth, all recipients of public assistance were to be sent to that institution. All expenses for building and maintaining the poorhouse(s) and supporting its inmates were to be defrayed by the county out of tax funds. The Act also created a new body of relief officials: County Superintendents of the Poor.
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  • Scientific Charity Movement and Charity Organization Societies“Scientific charity built on Americans’ notion of self-reliance, limited government, and economic freedom. Proponents of scientific charity shared the poorhouse advocates’ goals of cutting relief expenses and reducing the number of able-bodied who were receiving assistance, as well as the moral reformers’ goal of uplifting people from poverty through discipline and religious education via private charity. In this model, individuals responded to charity and the government stayed out of the economic sphere.
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  • Training Schools - And Civilian Public Service (1944)The Civilian Public Service (CPS) was set up to provide conscientious objectors in the United States an alternative service to military service during World War II. CPS was operated primarily by the historic peace churches. CPS draftees from the historic peace churches and other faiths worked in areas such as soil conservation, forestry, fire fighting, agriculture, social services and mental health.
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  • Willard, Sylvester D.The he most important public enterprise in which Dr. Willard engaged was the establishment of an institution for the relief of the chronic insane. His mind had been directed to this subject for a considerable time, and he had collected a vast amount of information bearing upon it, which he had embodied in a luminous and elaborate report. That report had met with a most respectful attention from the Legislature, and everything indicated the speedy carrying out of the plan which he had proposed, when Dr. Willard found that his days of activity on earth were numbered. The Willard Asylum for the Insane, so named as a memorial of him, has been established since his decease.