Task One: A History of Mental Health in the U.S.

1. Right Click on the link below and choose "open link in new window":


2. Read through the time line on this Web page.

3. Answer these questions in a Word document:

- When did institutions begin using eletro-shock therapy? What is electro-shock therapy as described by the    time line?

- What is the National Institute for Mental Health? When was it founded and what was its initial purpose?

4. Click the 1950s-1992 link on the time line Web page.

5. Answer these questions in the same Word document:

- How many people were institutionalized for mental illness in 1955?  Why do you think so many more people were beginning to be institutionalized at this time? What might this say about the time period?

- Why was Ken Kesey inspired to write the One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest?

6. After you have read through the time line and answered the questions above write a short response in the same Word document answering this question:

Based on the statistics and information given on the time line about mental health prior to and during the 1980s and early 1990s, do you believe that institutions should be an important part of mental health care in the United States? Give three specific reasons explaining why the support of mental institutions is vital to mental health care or isn't vital to mental health care.
7. When you have finished with the time line and questions, close out of that website.

8. Right click on this link to the Central Library Home Page and choose "open link in new window":

CHS Media Center

9. Find the link "Online Databases" in the menu on the left side of the page. Click it.

10. Scroll down until you find the EBSCOhost Research Database link. Click it.

11. Type in the user ID central and the password maroon and click Login.
Ask the the librarian, Mrs. Herrmann, or me if you are having difficulties logging in during class.  If you are at home working, you will still need the Central Login information.

12. Click "Search: Magazines, Newspapers, Health, etc." Select the following databases with a check mark:
MAS Ultra
Health Source

13. Click "Continue." Type "history of mental health care" into the search form. Be sure to select the "Full Text" button otherwise you will get articles that are not complete.

You will have research a bit more once the search results appear, which will require more patience, but you will find valuable information if you search carefully that may help you with later tasks and the final essay.  If you don't have luck with the search terms suggested you can type other terms that are related to mental health history.

14. Pick two articles or one article and a piece of multimedia (picture, video, etc.).  Read and look at them carefully.

15. Based upon the information you learn, write a 1 page response that discusses how modern patients might be treated in a mental institution or in mental health programs today.
Make connections to past treatments such as those used in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Discuss the progress of mental health care, but include areas where you also see the need for improvement. Incorporate one quote from each article and one quote from the novel to support your response. Make sure to site the page the quotes are from and the names of the EBSCO articles that you've used.

(Activity adapted from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: A Webquest for 12th Grade Literature and Composition, Designed by Dana Huff)

16.  Print out your response and turn it in at the end of class.

You may have to finish some of this assignment for homework. If you don't have computer access at home make sure you print out your two articles.  If you don't finish in class you can turn the response tomorrow at the beginning of class. It
does not have to be typed.

For Extra Credit:
Think about any relationship you may have had with a person who suffers from some kind of mental illness. It could be a relative, friend, or even someone you have passed by momentarily on the street. Write a letter to that person in which you explain how his or her illness has affected you and the way you interact with him or her.When you met this people or discovered that this person was mentally ill, did you shared some of the prejudices that many people in the past have had toward mentally ill persons? What prejudices did you show toward that person?  If this person wasn't a close relative or friend did your respond differently than you would have if it had been someone closer to you? Please type this letter in the same Word document as the assignment above.

(Activity adapted from PBS.org)