An illustration from one of the Glenside Hospital Museum’s exhibits provides an optimist note.
‘Once people did not know how to mend a leg. The Thomas Splint was invented in the late 1800’s and was put into use in the latter half of WW1 reducing the mortality rate from leg injuries in WW1 from 80% to 8%.’
We are still at the very beginnings of knowing what to do to help people when brain function is impaired, but we are gaining rapidly more knowledge and understanding.
This final voice concludes our journey on how life was organised and the tensions that occur when caring for people who are mentally ill.
The interviewee was asked about the long corridors at Glenside and people wandering.
‘That’s the state of your mind, because I think that is what you do, you wander.
You don’t know where you are going and you don’t know where you’re coming from.
Yeah, I think you do wander about, just aimlessly really…
You’re not capable of thinking, suppose you think, but you don’t you think I’m ill, and that’s why you need caring for…’
These sound bites just scratch the surface in answering the question ‘How was life organised?’ The intention is to give an introduction that has made you start to ask questions:
‘Is that true?’, ‘Why exactly was that?’, and opens the door to, ‘I’d like to know more.’