that colonization was driving the resettlement of BC, the discipline of psychiatry was achieving respectability and prominence; “sciences,” such as craniometry, were used to explain the perceived differences between the races. The importance of mental hygiene as a social issue was such that the construction of a mental hospital was part of the inducements offered to the province to join Confederation. The records from this hospital system indicate that western definitions of mental health/ illness were imposed upon First Nation peoples. Diagnoses made by doctors who had little or no cultural understanding of First Nations patients resulted in long standing stereotypes. These stereotypes have remained despite psychiatry’s shifting trends over the last 130 years. Other factors, such as criminality and changing social mores, have also influenced the perception of mental health/illness in colonized populations.
Arthur Allen. Architect, Author, West Vancouver, BC
Architectural Function and the Early Mental Hospitals of Western Canada
From 1878 to 1923 the four western provinces of Canada constructed 8 mental hospitals, 2 in each province. The plans and designs of those buildings will be shown by 35 mm slides. The architecture of the buildings will be considered from comments by psychiatrists, administrators, staff, inspectors, architects and public observers. Commentary by former psychiatric patients in Western Canada is rare, but numerous autobiographies by patients from other hospitals will be introduced to the discussion. Relevant scholarly findings from the architectural history of mental hospitals will be included. Emphasis will be placed on the perceptions of patients, and the value of behavioural research to architectural ethics and practice. The functionality and ethical background of buildings for confinement will receive special attention.
Andrea Kovalesky. Nursing, University of Washington, Bothell
Factors Influencing the Role of Nurses in Washington State Over the Last 40 Years Towards Persons with Serious Mental Illness
Over the last 40 years both the treatment of persons with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and the role of nurses in general have changed profoundly. In this presentation I describe the more dynamic of these changes, using materials from various archives and library systems within Washington State, to posit some of the factors that have influenced the nursing profession in trying to promote social justice for persons with SMI. Besides the more obvious changes of the healthcare system in general, gender roles, and the process of deinstitutionalization, some other factors include changes in nursing education and nurse practice acts and national and state legislation promoting incarceration for drug and alcohol crimes; none of these factors stand alone but rather intersect in a variety of ways.