June 26th, 2008
It’s a pretty good, lengthy article that ranges from before the Northampton asylum was built to the present day, with the Kirkbride only a memory. One thing I have to comment on in particular is this statement at the head of the article:
“The decision to change the name of Northampton’s Hospital Hill bespeaks the same fear and prejudice against mental illness that drove Victorian activists to build the hospital in the first place.”
The first time I read that I wondered what hell he was talking about—fear and prejudice didn’t drive activists to build asylums! But at this very moment while preparing to write a more lengthy commentary, I realize Mr Roessler meant that the activists were reacting against a prevailing sense of fear and prejudice toward mental illness. I think the wording there is a little confusing and can easily be taken the wrong way.