mental health


Looking to the Light

New Dialogues an exhibition of Art at Glenside Hospital Museum on until the 1st April 2023 An exciting exhibition of contemporary art exploring mental health care has been launched at Glenside Hospital Museum, Bristol.  It is one of three ground-breaking new exhibitions across the UK inspired by remarkable collections relating to mental health. In Bristol, […]


‘I do not want to smoke’ GHM exhibition until 13th May

This film installation spotlights a pivotal, yet often overlooked, moment in the history of medical cinema. Bringing to life one of the world’s first attempts to incorporate the cinema into psychotherapeutic treatment, the installation showcases the short film, I Do Not Want To Smoke (2020). The film is based on a script published in the Soviet Union in 1936 […]


Portraits of the Unremembered

Dr Paul Tobia, has been researching the patients at Bristol’s mental hospital, 1861-1900. Using the patient records at Bristol Archives and archives across Britain, he has created films and the many articles we have blogged on our website. Below is a beautifully drawn collection of portraits from another hospital, equally informative about people who became […]


Is there a poet in you?

Take inspiration from our poet Caroline Burrows @VerseCycle and her sonnet ‘Death of Chatterton’s Romanticised Suicide’ by using one word from her poem  anywhere in your own rhyming couplet. Share your couplets on social media using the hashtag: #ChattertonRises with your preferred name as an author, 15th February to the 12th March2021.  


Recoveries

In the ten years I have been researching the patients of the Bristol Lunatic Asylum, the thing that most struck me was the disparity between the popular view of asylums and the results of my studies. They were seen as as dreadful barbaric hellholes from which, once entered, you would never return but my studies […]


Spectrum; from A-Z by Shagufta Iqbal

For 2020, as part of Bristol Poetic City, we have a Writer in Residence: Shagufta K. Iqbal Her beautiful poem ‘Spectrum’ and social media series launches on World Mental Health Day October 10th. Go to You Tube to be entranced by her poem:  https://youtu.be/Fv4XRLmQilE Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770) is a celebrated young Bristol poet.  He died […]


‘Poetry Helps’

World Suicide Prevention Day 10th September. We have been working with poet Caroline Burrows to create an online poetry event to be launched on September 10th for World Suicide Prevention Day:#PoetryHelps, exploring what can help with #SuicideAwareness and #SuicidePrevention. @VerseCycle. Caroline has created 45 verses and with the help of many participants has created a […]


Time to Delve into archives online

Dr Peter Carpenter,  treasurer and volunteer at Glenside Hospital Museum has found this portrait in the Wellcome Collection online and researched the mystery of Louisa a notorious  ‘Madhouse’ resident from the late 1700s. The mysterious Lady of the Haystack Why was Louisa admitted in 1781 to the lunatic ward of St Peters Hospital?   Louisa […]


Time to Draw

Drawing can be very meditative and soothing, but you don’t have to start with a blank piece of paper. Suzanne Alsop, Glenside Hospital Museum volunteer is a keen colourer, ‘I have found colouring to be helpful in my own recovery and relating some of my pictures to the noble characteristics of these animals has added […]


Time to Reflect Two

Junjie Wang has also had time to reflect on her experience of volunteering at Glenside Hospital Museum. She is now a Museum Professional at the Aurora Museum, Shanghai, China, currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus.   ‘Actually, I don’t quite know to describe this museum exactly. It is small, but not simple. It is […]


Glenside: Mental Health Museum by Sophie Stammers

For those of you who have not yet visited the Museum, or are unable to get here, this post gives a real flavour of what to expect when you come. It originally appeared on Imperfect Cognitions, the blog run by researchers at Project PERFECT, a multidisciplinary team investigating issues in mental health, irrationality and wellbeing, […]


Home: from St Louis, Missouri to Bristol Asylum

ALBERT JAMES HOME (1846-1910) By Robert Home Albert James Home was born in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, then a mining town and new railway hub. The only child of William Home (1809-1880), a brewer’s commercial traveller, and his wife a local woman, Sarah Smith (1811-1890). (William had been born in Stanton Lacey near Ludlow, and the […]


Not ‘Us’ but ‘The Others’

Article by Dr Paul Tobia   Being laid up in bed for the last week with what my wife is determined to label as ‘manflu’ I have had lots of time to think and have considered the question why do research on Bristol’s Victorian psychiatric hospital and does it do any good. Does Glenside Hospital […]


Labelling. Putting people in a box is it ‘jail’ or ‘home’?

Article by Dr Paul Tobia Up until now I have concentrated on the patient records from Bristol’s purpose built asylum in the nineteenth century, but in this article I begin my exploration of  the period 1900-1915 before the asylum became Beaufort War Hospital in1915. This period, often called the Edwardian era, has been characterised as […]


The ‘Good’ Doctor

Pretending to be someone other than oneself is an attractive prospect, you can forget your insecurities and adopt another persona more confident and  talented than yourself. This is what the acting profession is based on and to a certain extent it is something we all do. I know that when I went to work as […]


Reclaiming the insane

Throughout history those with mental health problems have been depicted as ‘other’, thus distancing them from the general population. At Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol, we are very lucky to have unique collection of photographs, paintings and drawings of the patients and the environment of the Bristol Lunatic Asylum which later became Glenside Hospital.  They […]


At the Mercy of the Doctor

Article by Dr Paul Tobia History is often portrayed as a series of narratives in which great men (and they always seem to be men) changed the world with their strength and leadership, intellect or malevolence. This view of history has been challenged, as economic, social and cultural factors can be shown to be more […]