A History of the Madhouse

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A 2010 BBC documentary telling the story of the history of Britain’s mental asylums and their eventual closure. In the period which followed World War II some 150,000 British people were institutionalized in around 120 grim Victorian buildings. Thankfully treatment of mental health problems has since evolved and the vast majority of these buildings have been closed for good, with mental health hospitals replacing them.

The film includes contributions from former doctors, psychiatric nurses, and even patients themselves who help to paint a picture of what life was like in these institutions, it also uses extensive archival footage and photos to help give the viewer a sense of what they were like.

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