Possibilities and realities: South Australia's asylums in the 19th century

Susan Piddock

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To provide a brief overview of the provisions for the mentally ill in the 19th century in South Australia, and to highlight how this history and the provisions made have affected the design of modern psychiatric hospitals in the State. Conclusions: In the 19th century, new ideas about treatment of the mentally ill led to a focus on the provision of care within the setting of the lunatic asylum. Although there were opportunities to provide the best possible asylum environment, the reality was that the provisions made fell far short of what was needed, and in turn reflects the effects of economics on the care provided for the mentally ill. These 19th century asylums provided the basis of many modern psychiatric hospitals, and the design problems found in these earlier buildings continue, offering limited physical spaces for the patients residing in these places.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)172-175
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


    • Architecture
    • Asylums
    • History
    • Hospital design
    • Psychiatry
    • South Australia


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