Editorial: Time For These Mental Health Records To See Daylight

The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Part of the role of Connecticut's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is to de-stigmatize the image of mental illness, to promote understanding and to encourage treatment.

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What's being said

  • This is alarming that these records can‘t be accessed by the public ! A few years ago I did a research project on the History Of CVH. I read almost every single record from the Superintendent Books that were submitted by the CMO every quarter to the Board of Directors which were appointed by the state. These records are detailed in patient care and the daily running of the hospital. These date back to when the hospital opened in the early 1800‘s. There are also copious records in the state library which are now restricted from any use. All of it is very essential information to the future of mental health and how people are going to treated and recover. There is VERY little written historical information on CT Mental Health. The last comprehensive book was written in 1974 The Mentally Ill in Connecticut Changing Patters of Care of the Evolution of Psychiatric Nursing 1636-1972. A family would not have found their grandfather and father buried in an unmarked grave behind that hospital without that information. We used to throw away the mentally ill in our state because of the discrimination. Not even their family wanted to be associated with the mentally ill. We owe it to those people to clear up the past and make the future brighter. Husband used to bring their wives there because they weren‘t being treated like a husband should. We are as sick as our secrets and hiding this information won‘t help. The prison population was very low and the mental hospitals were full. I found my family there and it helped us heal to know what mental health issues were necessary to know for our current mental wellness. I‘m not an expert. I can‘t publish my findings but someone needs to.

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