Date of Award
Master of Arts
Excessive patient populations and limited financial resources shaped the treatment, facilities, opinion, and actions towards mental illness in Iowa. Shortly after Iowa entered the union, the state erected several charitable institutions. These facilities represented the ideologies of Iowans, professionals, and legislators toward the insane. The first, the Mt. Pleasant Insane Asylum received all the regions mentally ill. Immediately, the facility was overcrowded with increasing costs. These two factors shaped the treatment, management, and legislative actions inside and outside of the hospital. Iowa created the State Board of Control of State Institutions to oversee all institutions in an efficient manner. Within a few decades, the Board proved mismanaged, costly, and inefficient. Treatment within the hospital shifted from curing to warehousing the insane till their deaths. Iowa then began a long process of decentralization of mental care.
Riddle, Bryan, "Treatment, warehousing, and dispersion: Mt. Pleasant Insane Asylum 1844-1980" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11564.