A History Of Psychiatric Institutionalisation And Community Care In Australia, 1830s-1990s

Grant number: DP0771163 | Funding period: 2007 - 2012

Completed

Abstract

A vigorous debate is underway in Australia currently over the policy of closing mental institutions and caring for the mentally ill in the community. Whereas doctors, politicians and journalists have contributed to this debate, regularly resorting to history to bolster their arguments, historians themselves have had relatively little to say. A genuinely national history of mental health care simply does not exist. This study provides that comprehensive history, in the belief that policy making in such a vital area of health cannot be undertaken effectively without an informed understanding of the successes and failures of the last 150 years.