The world’s view on mental health is rapidly changing as the proper individuals continue to spread awareness and education on what mental health entails. In early history, mental illnesses corresponded with religion. Those living during these times believed that mental illness was a form of religious punishment or demonic possession. Due to them associating mental health and religion, when treating those who were mentally ill during these times who were not religious they focused on changing their environment and administering medication. But they ultimately believed that if they were suffering from a mental illness they were in need of religion.

As time progressed they began to institutionalize those who suffered from mental illnesses. The institutions were much like jail, they were unable to leave freely, the workers closely monitored them, and they were treated harshly by the staff. After researching the horrible jail like conditions that the patients lived in during the 1840’s, Dorothea Dix, who suffered from a mentally illness of her own, fought for better living conditions for those were mentally ill. She conducted interviews with both the patients and experts in the field during that time during her research to ensure that she was receiving the best possible information on their living conditions and how they were affected. After years of research, she eventually convinced the US government to fund 32 hospitals around the country for those who suffered from mental illnesses.

References

Foundations Recovery Network. (2018). History of Mental Health Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/

Unite For Sight. (2015). Module 2: A Brief History of Mental Illness and the U.S. Mental Health Care System. Retrieved from http://www.uniteforsight.org/mental-health/module2

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