Visit to Wakefield Mental Health Museum

Our FdSc Supporting Innovation in Health and Social Care students visited Wakefield Mental Health Museum to develop their awareness of the history of mental health care and gained a deeper insight into practices.

The students were able to view examples of treatments and individual records and listened to stories from people who were admitted to the Pauper Lunatic Asylum since 1808. They also had the opportunity to make their way around the thought-provoking Creative Autism display, which included a range of poems, images and comments from individuals with Autism.

All the students said the experience was eye opening, especially the opportunity to see some of the equipment used, including the isolation chambers and straight jackets. This allowed them to compare and evaluate past and present treatment strategies.

The trip also provided them with the chance to see how a locked medium risk mental health unit is managed. Overall, the experience provoked comparisons and discussions and raised their awareness of current issues in mental health. The students will utilise the visit as part of their reflective journal for the work-related learning module. One student investigated secure mental health rehabilitation care provision in England, to present for discussion at the class Journal Club.

Angela Bleasdale, Programme Leader, said:

“I was delighted to see the students showing a genuine interest in the displays in the museum. The students were very engaged, and the experience stimulated many questions about mental health care, treatments and the history of social issues.”

 Lorraine Anderson, FdSc Supporting Innovation in Health and Social Care student, commented:

“I found the whole experience eye opening – especially being locked in the straight jacket and isolation chamber. The trip was a really great way to learn more about mental health and its history.”