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INSPIRATIONS FROM HISTORY
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-71

Dorothea dix: A proponent of humane treatment of mentally ill


Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.182088

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The work of early pioneers like Dorothea Dix was instrumental in the establishment of institutions dedicated especially for the care of the mentally ill. Originally from the United States, she became acquainted with the idea of humane treatment of the mentally ill during her visit to England. After her return to the United States, she conducted a statewide investigation of care for the insane poor in Massachusetts and began to extensively lobby for reforms and establishment of more state-funded institutions for the care of mentally ill. Her efforts led to setting up of several mental health institutions, which became the cornerstone of care of psychiatrically ill, and for training of mental health care providers. Though subsequently, the hegemony of the institutions was challenged, and the era of deinstitutionalization was ushered in, the work of Dorothea Dix is important as it vouched for humane care of patients with mental illnesses.


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