DOROTHEA DIX- MENTAL ILLNESS Topic #3 Elizabeth Green BACKGROUND Dorothea Dix- most well known for work with the mentally ill Starting as a teacher at age 14, she soon discovered treatment of mentally ill inmates at a nearby prison was horrendous She took her aim across the country and even to Europe, always lobbying for more support for hospitals for the mentally ill Her actions directly affected at least 32 institutions DESCRIPTION Dix showed no shame. Despite being a woman, and being frowned upon for being so outspoken, she stood up for the mentally ill and withheld no cruel facts from her listeners Many of the mentally ill she spoke of in jails were simply there because there were no asylums to house them She also described many as being locked in stalls, pens, and gates; some of them were chained, beaten and naked Dix’s actions nearly led to a miniature revolution as she bore the cruel facts in her devoted ef forts to win rights for those wronged DESCRIPTION (HOW SHE DID IT) Dix used many dif ferent methods to gain what she was looking for- better treatment and acknowledgement of the mentally ill She often wrote to the various governments (whichever state she was visiting at the time) to plead her case for what she wanted: more asylums, better treatment for the mentally ill, acknowledgement of mental illness as a true illness, recognizing the mentally ill as people When necessary, she gladly met with those who could change things if it meant making the situations better Also raised awareness for all those aside from government of ficials, winning over many who backed up her goals SIGNIFICANCE IN AMERICAN HISTORY “The tapestry of history has no point at which you can cut it and leave the design intelligible.” –Dorothea Dix Dorothea’s most direct contribution to American history was as the chief superintendent of nurses in the Civil War Dix’s words helped soften and warp the minds of all sorts of Americans- leaving us as a more understanding and well educated people One of the first to stand up for the rights of the mentally ill, starting a movement that has been growing up until this very day! SUB-MOVEMENT (THE MOVEMENT TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM) Dix attempted and succeeded in a goal that is hard to accomplish, even much then than now - changing the minds of her listeners Dix’s actions spawned hospitals in 14 dif ferent states for the mentally ill, continuously pushing the idea of mentally ill people deserving of the same amount of respect In a time period where many were biased towards other people (she lived during the Civil War) Dix was a figure to put mentally ill persons on the same level as the rest of the population She was strongly convinced of her own, unselfish motives which allowed her to convince others to invest time and money in those considered corrupted for the longest time. QUIZ TIME Q: HOW MANY STATES CREATED ASYLUMS FOR THE MENTALLY INSANE THANKS TO DOROTHEA DIX? A: 17 B:37 C: 59 D: 14 THE ANSWER IS… DOROTHEA’S ACTIONS DIRECTLY IMPACTED HOW MANY INSTITUTIONS? A: 52 B: 103 C: 32 D: 79 THE ANSWER IS… DOROTHEA DIX IS A CHAMPION FOR… A: The Slaves B: The Mentally Ill C: The Soldiers D: The Poor THE ANSWER IS… ALL OF THEM! Dorothea Dix invested every drop of her energy to ensure that all people became enlightened, thus not only improving conditions tremendously for the mentally ill but all opening our eyes and bringing us closer to the truth. MISS DIX SOURCES Dix, Dorothea L. "11 .8 Dorothea Dix Pleads for a State Mental Hospital." Dorothea Dix Pleads for a State Mental Hospital . N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. Dix, Dorothea L. "Dorothea Dix Quotes." About.com Women's Histor y. About.com, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. Dix, Dorothea L. "Dorothea Dix Speaks out on Behalf of the Insane (1848) Primary Source Document." Histor ymar tinezs Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. "Dorothea Dix Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. "Dorothea Lynde Dix." Histor y.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013. Viney, Wayne. "Dorothea Dix." Dorothea Dix. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.