Mental Health Museum roadshow takes history to a new home


Visitors to South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s buildings can find out more about the fascinating history of mental health care through the Mental Health Museum’s new Stanley Royd roadshow.

Stanley Royd was a mental health facility in Wakefield which opened in 1818, and was the largest mental health provider in West Yorkshire in the 19th and 20th century. Display cases have been installed in Trust buildings across Yorkshire housing unique artefacts from the Museum’s collection, offering an insight into care at the former hospital which closed its doors in 1995.

A food-themed case at Baghill House in Pontefract focuses on the importance of nutrition in the Victorian hospital. With water quality poor at the time, beer was brewed in the hospital to make untreated water safer to drink.

Laura Mitchell Health and Wellbeing Centre in Halifax features a laundry-themed case which looks at the controversial use of patient labour as a form of industrial therapy. It reveals how occupations at the time were often gendered and women may have been sent to work in the hospital’s laundry and ironing rooms.

A joinery case at Drury Lane Health and Wellbeing Centre in Wakefield looks at male patient labour in the trade workshops. An eagle lectern carved by one of the hospital’s patients in around 1870 is still on display in the chapel at the Trust’s current Fieldhead site in Wakefield.

The development of recreational activities into what is now recognised as occupational therapy is the theme of the final case in the wellbeing and learning centre at Fieldhead in Wakefield.

Ash Mahmood, museum co-ordinator, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to share our collection wider to offer people a look back at how far mental health care has come. Our aim at the museum is to share, inform and educate to reduce mental health stigma. By bringing our collection out into Trust buildings we are giving more opportunities to learn about such an important part of our Trust’s history.”

The Mental Health Museum is open by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1pm – 4pm. To find out more about the museum, visit the website.



Mental Health Museum roadshow takes history to a new home

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