The medical superintendent, Dr. Charles E. Doherty, directed the care include healthy food, recreation, work and a normal routine. The harsher treatments of the past era were replaced with hydrotherapy and massage to calm the more disturbed patients.
"Repressive measures such as confinement and punishment are, to my mind, as ineffective as they are unjust. They are morally an outrage to helpless sufferers, medically unsound and at times, fatal. Since I became superintendent in 1905, I have endeavoured to adopt the methods of the general hospital rather than that of an asylum. I think our duty to the insane is to do more than render them custodial care. The old straitjacket and box-bed are doomed. At least they have no place in my regime..."
Dr. Doherty quoted in The Treatment for the Insane: Farming as a Cure for Madness-British Columbia's novel experiment by H. Sheridan-Bickers Man to Man Magazine, 1910
In 1906, Dr. Henry Esson Young was appointed Provincial Secretary. He later became head of the Provincial Department of Public Health and would have a significant impact on the community at Mount Coquitlam. The hospital was later named Essondale in his honour.
If a patient was catatonic, they were placed in electric and steam cabinets where the temperature was gradually raised to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. They were given lots of water to drink then placed under rain and needle showers before being given a massage.
For alcoholics suffering hallucinations, restlessness and insomnia, the patient was placed in a cold bath lasting 10 to 20 minutes. This was repeated every three hours and replaced the former treatment of large doses of opium or chloral hydrate.
Vancouver Public Library archives.
Excerpt from The Treatment for the Insane: Farming as a Cure for Madness-British Columbia's novel experiment by H. Sheridan-Bickers Man to Man Magazine, 1910.
I hope you find the beauty around you.