Community mental health is not unique to the late 20th century. In different times and situations, interested individuals have worked to develop community based options.
Winch and New Vista
Did community support for people experiencing mental health difficulties emerge only in the 1960s? Fully two decades earlier, BC provincial politician Ernest Winch established the New Vista Home for discharged female psychiatric patients. Visit this exhibit to learn about Winch’s early efforts to secure human rights for psychiatrized people, and meet four New Vista women as they struggle to make lives outside the institution.
Were people in long-stay psychiatric institutions really shut off from the world? The life of Marguerite-Marie, resident of Montreal’s Saint-Jean-de-Dieu Hospital from age 12, shows that this was not always the case. Family letters provide a glimpse into Marguerite-Marie’s daily activities, her dreams and desires for her life outside of the asylum, and the maintenance and nurturing of familial ties.