Letter (1933, September 11) concerning depressed and suicidal patients

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Title

Letter (1933, September 11) concerning depressed and suicidal patients

Description

Letter from B. T. McGhie, Acting Deputy Minister of Hospitals, to D. O. Lynch, Superintendent in Penetanguishene, dated September 11, 1933. Concerns the risk of depression and suicide among new patients.

Creator

McGhie, B. T.

Publisher

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

Date

1933-09-11

Rights

Permission to republish or use this item must be requested from the stated publisher

Language

en

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

IN REPLY PLEASE REFER TO

[Coat of Arms for Ontario]
ONTARIO
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
HOSPITALS DIVISION
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOSPITALS

Toronto, Sept. 11, 1933.

Re Care of Depressed Patients,
Ontario Hospital, Penetang.

Dear Dr. Lynch:-

I have just discussed with Mr. Williams, the general plan whihc you have worked out together for the treatment and protection of depressed patients in your new building. I note that you both agree with the plan for an observation Infirmary in the section under the south end of Section "C"

The most important point to decide at the moment seems to be the number of cases that are sufficiently depressed to make it necessary to place them in rooms protected by the guard on the inside of the window. There are 38 single rooms on each of Wards "B" and "D". The present plan to place the guads in the single rooms in these Wards throughout as a safe guard to prevent patients from hanging from the lugs of the guard hinges, may be necessary, but one must have in mind the psychological effect upon the mildly depressed patients of placing them in such a darkened room as will result therefrom. 

I think the patients to be housed in Wards "B" and "D" should be examined very carefully psychiatrically, with a view of determining the minimum number in these Wards, in which such drastic action is absolutely necessary. 

Will you be good enough, therefore, to have your Physicians make these examinations as soon as possible, as I would not care to have any patient remain in such a room longer than a week without a complete report being on fyle to show the necessity of such action being taken. 

Having this in mind, it will be in order to proceed with the plan as agreed upon between yourself and Mr. Williams, to serve the situation. 

[Page 2]

CONTINUATION SHEET NO. 1 Re Care of Depressed Patients, Ontario Hospital, Penetang. 

This we understand to be as follows: 
1. Change the lock arrangement on the inside guards on Wards "B" and "D", and keep t his on permanently (having in mind the above with respect to patient's condition.)

2. Lower all radiators on Wards "A", "B", "C" and "D"/

3. Cut off all hinged brackets and padlocks on the inside of the Guard Rooms on Wards "A" and "C", with the exception of four cells on each. These will be kept for emergency purposes. 

4. Proceed with the plan for an Observation Infirmary in the section under the south end of "C" Ward. 

Yours very truly,
[Signed]
(B. T. McGhie, M.D.)
Director of Hospital Services. 

Dr. D.O. Lynch,
Superintendent,
Ontario Hospital,
Penetang, Ont.

Note: 
It would of course be useless to place guards on the inside of windows to prevent suicide in any room where the radiator has not already been removed. 

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