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By: Phillip Leighton-Daly

Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital - Wednesday's Child

Pages: 280 Ratings:
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Large mental care institutions such as Kenmore and Morisset once accommodated up to 1400 and 1500 mental health patients respectively. Here was a serious attempt to provide for the needs of the disadvantaged. This is a reflective history of the large mental health institution at Kenmore. Curiously there are some who envisage a return in part to institutionalism. Protected environments where select patients can freely wander throughout picturesque rural/ lakeside settings hold much appeal. Such were the enlightened perceptions of our state's founding fathers; the institutions at Kenmore and Morisset were their handiwork. Unfortunately, calming and natural sanctuaries such as Kenmore appear as expensive dinosaurs in the health and well-being of the mentally ill today. In this regard, an old North American adage rings particularly clear.The spirit of man separate from nature will quickly wither and die.Whatever your feelings on this axiom are, it was the belief of Dr Manning, an early Inspector General of the Insane who fought to establish a psychiatric hospital in the serene estate at Kenmore. What sense does it make to incarcerate lonely and confused, mental patients in stressful, concrete jungles amidst often hostile and uncaring populaces?But for the grace of God go both you and I.

Phil Leighton-Daly has worked for 40 years as a school teacher. He has primarily served in one and two teacher schools, teaching two of his children for the full extent of their infants/primary education.
Many of his later years have been spent in the historic Goulburn District where he has spent many pleasant hours exploring the rugged Bungonia wilderness.
Phil is a keen sportsman with interests predominantly in cricket, tennis, swimming, kayaking and rugby league football. Currently he teaches swimming for the NSW Department of Education and Training.
Phil has published six books over twelve years with a focus on the environment and social history.

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