Letter (1933, September 11) concerning building changes to safeguard against suicidal patients

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Letter (1933, September 11) concerning building changes to safeguard against suicidal patients


Letter from D. O. Lynch, Superintendent in Penetanguishene, to B. T. McGhie, Acting Deputy Minister of Hospitals, dated September 11, 1933. Concerns building alterations to protect against suicide risk among depressed patients.


Lynch, D. O.


Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care




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Sept. 11, 1933.

Dear Doctor McGhie:-
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 6th inst. relative to safety of patients in the Criminal Insane Division and I have taken the matter of a dormitory up with Mr. Williams. No doubt he has gone over the proposed plans with you by now. The only rooms we have that might be suitable for dormitories are located in the basement and the large room under the patients' dining room, we feel, is out of the question, because of the low ceiling and poor lighting. However, the three rooms used by the Occupational Therapist might be utilized to accommodate some twenty patients. We would require at least two Attendants to keep them under a constant observation.

As you will note in the copy of the Jury's verdict they have recommended radiators to be either lowered or protected and they have also recommended that other brackets or exposed fixtures be protected to safe guard against opportunities for self-destruction. This would probably mean to include the corridor bars, window bars, screen pins and hooks and even the yale padlocks when screens are in place. Mr. Williams has advised sawing off the hooks and pins on all down stairs windows and placing guards with a concealed type of lock on all up stairs rooms. In this way he feels, that all radiators being lowered, windows being guarded and without corridor bars upstairs that opportunities presented for suicide will be reduced to a minimum. Of course, we would continue to keep all our depressed patients and a few well behaved patients in dormitories.

Mr. Williams will advise us when his plans are completed for altering the present Occupation Therapy quarters.

I beg to remain,
Your obedient servant,

Medical Superintendent.
(D. O. Lynch)

Dr. B. T. McGhie,
Director of Hospitals,
Parliament Buildings,
Toronto, Ont.,


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