In 1879 the provincial inspector of insane asylums for the province of ontario john w langmuir wrote that to implant and cultivate in that class of patients a taste for work is of infinitely greater importance than any other portion of asylum work and supervision1 when he made this statement langmuir was laying the groundwork for the intensification of patient labour which . In mental health and canadian society leading researchers challenge generalisations about the mentally ill and the history of mental health in canada considering the period from colonialism to the present they examine such issues as the rise of the insanity plea the victorian asylum as a tourist attraction the treatment of first nations people in western mental hospitals and post world . The lunatic asylum has played a continuing role in historical attempts to deal with mental health injecting tragic almost gothic overtones of geographical isolation medical experimentation and social control into public perceptions of the filedin mental health and canadian society leading researchers challenge generalisations about the . Mental health and canadian society historical perspectives mcgill queens university press xvi 266 2995 mcgill queens university press xvi 266 2995 the history of mental health has largely focused on asylums or other institutions of incarceration. 2 mental health and canadian society historical perspectives helps to fill these gaps even if as an edited collection spanning about one hundred seventy years and several regions it cannot remedy decades of comparative scholarly inattention
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