The Year 13 Psychology students visited the Bethlem Museum to find out more about the history of diagnosis and classification and the ethics of treating mental health/illness. Bethlem Royal Hospital was founded in 1247 and was the first institution in the UK to specialise in the care of the mentally ill. The hospital continues to provide in-patient care as part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and has been based in south London since 1930.
‘What captivated my attention most was the hospital’s methodology when determining the necessity of placing an individual under involuntary patient status. Our in-depth exploration occurred within groups, beginning with an immersive scenario in which a voluntary patient who has not been taking their medication, sought permission to depart for the weekend. Subsequently, we delved into various written perspectives, encompassing insights from the patient’s family, friends, and the patient themselves about the possibility of them becoming an involuntary patient. This collective experience highlighted the complexity of the decision-making process and the profound cognitive considerations involved. ‘Jamillah Tabet
“The trip to the Bethlem Hospital was a fantastic opportunity for cross curricular learning. We learnt both the History of the mental health hospital and how it had originated as a Priory in 1247. The way it formed into the place it is now and how it moved location according to the historical climate was very interesting and relevant to the Tudor course. We also looked at a psychological case study whereby we had to determine whether a patient should be allowed out for the weekend. Furthermore, its focus on Art therapy and its examples from famous illustrators such as Louis Wain was intriguing. Overall, it was a great trip in which all students took away something different and relevant to them.” Issac Evans
“The trip to Bethlem helped me in both my psychology but also my art. They had an art exhibition of the art created by some of the patients that had been admitted. There was one artist that intrigued me most who did drawing with ink and paint brush, they depicted humanlike figures which was most interesting as that is what I’m investigating in my latest art project.” Milou Batten
By Ms Chandler, Jamilliah, Milou and Issac