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- textual record
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- British Columbia. Mental Health Services
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The provision of mental health services had its beginning in October 1872 when the Royal Hospital in Victoria was designated as the first Provincial Asylum under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Secretary.
On April 1, 1950 the British Columbia Mental Health Service was formally established and various mental health activities were amalgamated including New Westminster Hospital (which became Woodlands School), Colquitz Provincial Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane (in Victoria), Essondale (including Crease clinic) and the Home for the Aged (in Coquitlam, Vernon and Terrace).
In 1959, Mental Health Services was transferred to the Dept. of Health Services and Hospital Insurance. The name was changed in 1967 to Mental Health Branch and changed again in 1975 to Mental Health Programs. The name reverted to Mental Health Services in 1980.
Between 1959 and 1968 the positions of Director and Deputy Minister were held by the same person. In 1968 the positions were separated, with Dr. H.W. Bridge as the Director of Mental Health Services, located in Vancouver, and Dr. F.G. Tucker as the Deputy Minister, located in Victoria. In September 1971 the position of Director was terminated. The statutory obligations of the Director were assumed by the Deputy Minister.
Scope and content
The series consists of records created by the Provincial Mental Health Services between 1872 and 1962 and includes
admission registers (1872-1902 and 1913-1960), case histories (1887-1908), patients registers (alphabetical lists of patients) (1900-1913 and 1922-1946), probation records (1911-1939), a patient transfer book (1918-1962) and a book of medical certificates of death (1911-1915).
The series also includes the journal of W. Mackie (February 8 - March 2, 1935), who accompanied 65 Chinese patients who were deported to China in 1935. The journal lists the names of the patients and gives information about their voyage. The annual report of the mental hospital for 1935 (Sessional Papers 1936) mentions that 65 Chinese patients were repatriated that year.
The registers contain useful information, including age, sex, marital status, paying or free, date of admission, religion, country of birth, present residence, duration of mental malady, diagnosis, supposed cause, number of attacks, occupation, degree of education and bodily state on admission. The admission registers are an index to the patient files because the register number assigned at admission was used as the patient file number.
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- Finding aid: volume list and Introduction.
GR-3019 - Provincial mental hospital registers
GR-2880 - Mental Health Services patient case files