During the 1920s, Saskatchewan’s Weyburn Mental Hospital grew into a community of more than 3,000 patients and staff. Back then, the treatment of mental illness was still in its infancy. To know more about this story, visit the exhibit Weyburn Mental Hospital, produced by the Soo Line Historical Museum and virtualmuseum.ca. Leave us your comments below, and tell us why this History Matters to you.
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What institution in Saskatchewan became one of the biggest buildings in the entire British Empire?
It’s 1924. Saskatchewan’s Weyburn Mental hospital has grown into a community of its own. Bursting at the seams, it houses more than 3,000 patients and staff.
Immersing naked patients into icy water…
…and then into steaming hot water, electroshock therapy and lobotomies are just some of the more popular treatments patients undergo.
Back then the treatment of mental illness is still in its infancy.
In the early 1950s, LSD is given to patients and even to staff volunteers to simulate schizophrenic experiences so they’d be more sympathetic to their patients’ symptoms.
Some of Weyburn’s treatments may seem barbaric by today’s standards, but they were the essence of progress not so long ago. In fact, their bold experiments and cutting edge research helped lead the way to some of the methods we now have in treating mental illness.
To know more about the Weyburn Mental Hospital go to History Matters at virtualmuseum.ca.
And tell us why this history matters to you?