A new piece in History of Psychiatry may interest AHP readers, “Public mental health care in colonial Lesotho: themes emerging from archival material, 1918–35” by Motlatsi Thabane. Abstract:
This paper identifies some of the themes that emerge from a study of official archival records from 1918 to 1934 on the subject of mental health in colonial Lesotho. They include: difficulties experienced by colonial medical doctors in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses, given the state of medical knowledge in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; impact of shortage of financial and other resources on the establishment and operation of medical services, especially mental health care; convergence of social order, financial and medical concerns as influences on colonial approaches to mental health care; and the question of whether Basotho colonial society saw institutionalization of their relatives as ‘hospitalization’ or ‘imprisonment’. Two case studies are presented as preliminary explorations of some of the themes.