1950s TREATMENT OF THE MENTALLY ILL MOVIE COLUMBUS STATE HOSPITAL 89534



below cream lined highways and teeming traffic with tall buildings and busy people Americans are efficient big strong yet mental illness will strike one in every twenty persons in this town because of mental illness the brains ability and energy of one American in 20 will be lost mental illness will take a toll of talent and beauty each year American strength is being wasted because there is a difference between a man and a machine because people hate and sorrow and fear one in every twenty will go to another city a city of the sink a state hospital for the mentally ill at a distance the typical state hospital looks like an old-fashioned college campus built in a day of elaborate architecture many state hospitals were more impressive than practical from their gingerbread towers to their jigsaw doorways early mental hospitals were solidly built custodial institutions asylums where the insane could be safely secluded for years perhaps for life in the past the mentally ill were herded behind bars chained and beaten insanity was looked upon as a disgraceful mysterious disease with no hope of cure mental institutions were prisons bedlam where treatment was brutal and hope was lost today the picture is changing iron bars are giving way to modern safety windows and to new ideas on the cause and treatment of mental illness new hospitals modern treatment centers are replacing the asylums of the past state hospitals are rebuilding modernizing expanding their and facilities more than 175,000 Americans were admitted to the hospital for the mentally ill last year there are enough patients in this one hospital alone to populate a small city here live people from all walks of life rich poor young and old men and women from all races nationalities and occupations the mental hospital today is a place where these people are being treated and cured I ought to know I'm an attendant in this state hospital my name's Harper bill Harper a state hospital is a small city the city of the state living and working here I have learned a lot about mental illness what it is and what it does to people I know the waste of human lives and the expense to the state and to the nation that mental illness causes I know to the hope of those on the way to recovery the hope of returning to their homes and families and I found that a guy like me a psychiatric aid and attendant in a mental hospital and do something important towards the recovery of the mentally ill these men like myself are Ward attendants responsible for feeding clothing and caring for 30 to 60 mental patients each day we're closest to the patient at all times and we're the ones he relies on day and night the attendant who knows his job and who understands the nature of mental illness can do a lot to help the patient along the road to recovery in spite of long hours and low salaries the ward attendant is a key man in the mental hospital the way he does his job can make the hospital of prison or a real treatment center take Bob Shannon for example he's been showing 16-millimeter motion pictures to patients who can't get out of bed Jimbo too got his patients interested in indoor gardening and now his board is one of the most cheerful spots in the hospital and old Johnny Mitchell who's been here longer than anyone else Johnny Mitchell who gave me my first lesson in how to be a good attendant in a mental hospital it was just a week or so after I'd taken this job the whole ward was going out for an afternoon walk all except one and let's call him mr. X he didn't budge what I called him this guy is tough I said to myself can't let him get the upper hand so I moved in when he resisted I got mad tried to bully him into coming I didn't know much about mental patients and how they behaved although one careful look at his face would have told me that he was pretty sick and that the tougher I got the more difficult he would be to handle it was then the Johnny Mitchell came in they must have looked silly me Bill Harper 200 pounds six feet three I couldn't handle a skinny guy like mr. X why was glad when Johnny came up and asked me if there was anything he could do said I didn't think there was anything anyone could do but Johnny did he was confident and calm and finally mr. X came around I learned my first lesson that day Johnny Mitchell taught me that patients are people sick people an experienced attendant doesn't get excited and he doesn't get rough and he doesn't have to be six feet three either that happened a long time ago that I haven't forgotten well it's time to report for duty we work eight-hour shifts in this hospital and I'm on from 1:00 in the afternoon until 9:00 at night keys play an important part in the life of an attendant keys rewards keys for medicine cabinets keys for single rooms doors have to be kept locked for the protection of the patient's themselves before Ralph Johnson was on the early shift goes off-duty he gives me a report on what happened in Ward 30 during the morning the number and condition of the patients must be recorded drugs must be counted and checked all sharp instruments must be kept in order and kept under lock and key Johnson knows the condition and actions of his patients he points out those who need special attention for example a patient in a highly depressed moody condition bears watching he may try something desperately if his condition becomes worse you'll be reported to the position in charge other patients may be scheduled for special medications or treatments well it's all mine now I'm in charge of 60 mentally ill people and it's quite a responsibility like many wards this one is overcrowded without ventilation the patients will become sluggish and inactive people are happier and easier to handle when they're physically comfortable and that's why fresh air and sunlight are important temperature the ward should be about 68 degrees by night and 70 degrees per day a bowl of flowers can cheer things up a lot – in a magazine or a book for a time can take a patient's thoughts away from his delusions and fears the simple things are most important to a mental patient like a light for a pipe or cigarette patients are people and don't think that because they're mentally ill they don't know what's going on they noticed that appreciate the little things you do for them ward housekeeping and bedpan duty are routine jobs for the attendant then there are patients who can't get out of bed patients who have to be handled like children no matter how much you do for them some patients are too sick to appreciate your good intentions at a time like this I have to remind myself this man sick he doesn't realize what he's doing other patients are untidy troublesome uncooperative a clean shirt may not be appreciated by a patient of this type one of the most important things in this work is sympathy and understanding the average mental patient doesn't rave or scream or Tara's hair he sits reads or smokes he is fearful depressed or suspicious but behind the way he acts there's always a reason take that patient over there for the window for example it gets pretty hard to handle sometimes other times he just stands there looking out of the window looking for something I think I understand that patient now and I think I understand why he acts as he does because the other day I learned something about his case history from the hospital social worker the social workers job is to find out about the home background of the patient and to pass this information on to the psychiatrist and in turn to the rest of us the particular case history she showed me helped me understand why my friend and ward 30 acts as he does it was a record of deep depression fear and suspicion but the causes of his illness go back to the years when he was a successful businessman who had come up the hard way from a poor home at a tough childhood he had bought his way up to a successful career then the brakes began to go against him his business failed he worried trouble piled on trouble when his wife died he felt more lost and alone than ever memories of his childhood hardships began to crowd his lonely hours to blot out his worries he tried to find relief in the bottom of a bottle but his jagged thoughts came through haunted by fear crushed by depression he thought he could never get started again now he's in the city of the city now he's one of thousands of mentally ill his abilities talents and energies lost at least temporarily but he is more than just a case number he's not alone not forgotten on his side is a modern medical team of which the attendant is only one member on his side is the psychiatrist trained in both the physical and mental aspects of mental illness the psychiatrist tracked down the causes of mental disorder and it prescribes modern treatment methods listening to his patients the psychiatrist analyzes their worries fears and delusions it's a job for a specialist with years of training in human problems on the side of the patient is the psychologist but determines the kind and degree of emotional disturbance troubling the patient through a series of carefully designed studies like the Rorschach test in which the patient describes what he sees in a series of ink blots to help the psychologist interpret the type of disorder that the patient has contrary to popular opinion many mentally ill are of good intelligence the hydro therapist is on the psychiatric team – in hydrotherapy the disturbed patient is placed in a tub of warm circulating water the soothing effect is helpful in quieting and relaxing overactive patients hydro therapists also need special training for their job you like too short therapy prescribed by the psychiatrist and administered by the physician is a well-known method of bringing the patient back to reality when it's followed up by other treatments electric shock as well as insulin shock may mean early recovery for many types of mental illness the registered nurse is also part of a psychiatric team the recreational therapist is another member of the psychiatric team outdoor sports give patients physical outlets important in improving both physical and mental health group sports are often organized and individual recreational activities are also encouraged trained occupational therapists are on the side of the patient to occupational activities within the range of the patient's interests and abilities are often the means of restoring the patient's sense of self confidence with guidance mental patients do excellent work in many occupational fields all state hospitals have chapels every patient who is able to do so is given the chance to attend church services of his own religion church services are a link with the past for many patients a familiar ritual in the strange new world of the hospital ministers of all churches donate their services some of them traveling four miles to deliver a weekly sermon in the city of the sick often contact with his religious faith gives the patient an inward security and peace of mind which all of us sick and well alike seek it took us a long time to understand the simple fact that the mentally ill are human beings and that there is dignity and worth in every human life the doors of this hospital swing both ways in this state half of all the patients admitted for the first time leave the city the city improved or recovered within a year or less but even when the doors have closed behind a discharged patient the hospital doesn't forget him the social worker continues to guide him along the road back to normal living each year hundreds of Americans leave the city of the sick to return to homes and families and useful jobs in the busy world outside yes the modern state hospital is no longer the prison Asylum of yesterday it's a city where the sick can become well again and when you see them go out that front gate it's a good feeling to know that you've helped someone get well that his mental illness has been treated and cured and that you've done your part

20 Comments

  1. i was in a mental hospital in cleveland and it was much better

  2. cut the background music

  3. The patient that refused to move, just needed a wheelchair, talk to him! The man that knocked his plate over should be asked what he want to eat, this patient should be fed with the bedside table and food where he can see it, but away from his reach! The patient that was gazing out of the window, could have been reminiscing on the good old times, no one asked! I suggest asking this patient what spot do he like to play, and start a team out of the capable/willing participants within the group and take them outside! Okay, if you feel like the patients would run just set the perimeter with or without fence, depending on the offence of the patient that established his/her residency!

  4. It's nice to know in the disclaimer that filmmakers protected the privacy of those tortured by the hospital.

  5. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. We have progressed nicely, in 2018 we just let them wander around the street..

  7. Things started to change for the better when a med used to calm surgery patients was tried on these unfortunate people. That med was Thorazine. Now most of these places have been closed. The plan was community health centers would provide them with meds. That plan was never realized. The people are still locked up. But they aren't in hospitals. I have often wondered where they get the people who work in these places. They are some of the most ignorant / violent people you would ever have the misfortune of meeting.

  8. back in the 1960s and 1970s it was a lot easier to reintegrate into society as there was more jobs that didn't require a college degree and our communities in general was much safer then today. another thing is depressing is on the upswing because our society is so over priced and over complicated and more dangerous and less stable economicly speaking. many exspirance multiple losses/depression which leads to a possible mental health downgrade. especially if also combined with additional physical disabilities. or the ability to work around a pre existing disability

  9. what a puddin' head!

  10. Wonder how many patients were wealthy…but they set them up to be labeled crazy in order to take all of their stuff…money,homes,cars etc

  11. This is so darn phoney.

  12. They don't show the
    basement..with the shackles on the wall.

  13. They actually TORTURED PATIENTS.

  14. They always make things seem so calm,sane&righteous.BULL****!!

  15. Ohio sucks!A very hateful self absorbed place…where they pass out handouts&hand me downs instead of offering people more constructive ways to get out of homelessness,drug addictions etc…a test market city that experiments on people's every being!A very racist place(undercover with this) a lot of the people's are blatant with their hatred..a very separated place on socio economics…yeah…Columbus,Ohio is NOT the place to be in dealing with its inhabitants.

  16. Made couple Typo I said ETC when should have been ECT which of course is Electro Convulsive therapy

  17. All one crock of crap they showed ETC therapy and made it look like a cake walk well didn’t show anything…ETC is very violent with convulsions,and terrible experience then now patients are put to sleep as not to have to go through that experience,as well insulin induced coma they don’t even do that anymore,he said over crowded in the start ?they show clean patients as clean wards a park like outside,pleasant atmosphere and a medical team working team for the patients not true ..!!institutions were very over crowded..capacity for 600 they often had triple that or even more..and patients covered in there own shit and filthy because there wasn’t nearly the staff required for such a large patient load ..they weren’t equipped for it..Drs and any staff were totally overwhelmed so patient care was bypassed and they were neglected they were abused in many cases and every abuse you might think of to the point of expiration..I know this as I worked in this field 23 years in modern settings where appropriate treatment were a must but I learned of how this past institution life and how barbaric it really was!!so what you saw was utter garbage

  18. To agent fungus because they didn’t want institutional sites to seem barbaric although they were so the music and rest were to kind of lighten this terrible experience

  19. Is that Dr. lumpy from leave it
    To beaver ?

  20. The narrator sounds exactly like J. Elvis Weinstein as Tom Servo on the early MST3K episodes.

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