One of the most famous asylum reforms was introduced by a man by the name of Phillipe Pinel. During the year of 1792, he took charge of La Bicetre to test out his hypothesis that the mentally ill or the insane would make improvements if they were treated with kindness and consideration. Patients were then unchained and had better rooms to be housed in.
In 1796, William Tuke founded the York Retreat in York, England. It stressed the importance of treating everyone equally. It also spoke for the mentally ill. It was a place where the mentally ill could live, rest, and work in a better enviroment, instead of filthy, cold, and wet places that restricted the patients from having a human life.
The Asylum Movement went on into the 1800's. People began to realize how cruel the insane or mentally ill were treated and that people who really didn't necessarily need to be "locked up" were thrown into these places for bogus reasons.
In 1841 Dorothea Dix spoke about the horrible conditions that the insane were housed in. She explained, in utter disgust, that the sick and insane were "confined in the Commonwealth in cages, closets, cellars. stalls, pens! Chained, beaten with rods, lashed into obediance. " Her strive for humane housing and treatment then started reaching a climax.
In 1844, the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane was founded. It established standards for treatment and qualifications for practitioners. It would professionalize the treatment of the mentally ill as a medical specialty.
William C. Menninger
In 1946, the "Group for the Advancement Psychiatry" was founded by William C. Menninger. This group put out the idea that psychiatry shouldn't be concerned only with patients and their treatment, but with normal people and social action.
Funds became available for the Asylum Movement. The National Institute for Mental Health was established in 1946....