Glore Psychiatric Museum Is A Missouri Mental Health Time Capsule

Jun 19, 2014

Devices like "fever cabinets" (on view at the Glore Psychiatric Museum) were used to treat mental illness before medical advances rendered them obsolete.
Credit Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

Our panel explored how public perception and medical advances turned involuntary institutionalization into a relic of the past. 

As for lessons to take from the past? Dr. Rob Hornstra advocates that doctors remember this about patients: "They're people. They live a life. They exist in the world, and we need to understand that... Their personage is a lot more important than their diseasehood."