Mental Health Education
As is the case today, mental health education media campaigns in the early post-war period attempted to socially engineer or shape people’s attitudes and behaviour. By 1950, the mental hygiene message was being transmitted into homes of Canadians through a variety of media. Of course, the educational impact of these campaigns was mixed, for audiences sometimes resisted or reworked what they heard and read.
Radio and newspapers were the way Canadian households learned about the world beyond their doors at the time the Cummings arrived in Indian Head. And although the first Canadian television station did not begin broadcasting until September 1952, the Cummings used film as a means of both entertaining and educating Indian Head audiences. The pair projected dramas and documentaries in the town hall, the school and the theatre using films on loan from the National Film Board and other companies specializing in mental hygiene themes.
The next sections of this exhibit explore the use of radio, newspaper and film in Indian Head and beyond as tools for Canada’s postwar education programs about mental health.