Skip to main content

Asylums and their Neighbours. Can Neighbours help?

  • H. Hawkins (a1)

The aim of this paper will be to endeavour to show that neighbours of public asylums for the insane—occasionally using the term neighbours with some latitude—may, under certain circumstances, contribute to the well-being of selected patients, by services of various kinds; moreover, that not only residents in the vicinity, but also friends at a distance, may have a share in alleviating the affliction, perhaps even of promoting the convalescence, of inmates of these hospitals. Among 65,000 persons approximately computed as the number of patients in asylums and other institutions, there are many who are absolutely friendless and unvisited. Some come from distant counties, or even from foreign countries, beyond the range of practicable visits; others have outlived their relatives and friends; or these have, in course of time, discontinued their intercourse; others, again, saddest case of all, are perhaps deliberately deserted, purposely shunned, from selfish apprehension lest responsibility of maintenance or of assistance should be incurred, or from reluctance that their acquaintanceship with an inmate of a lunatic asylum should become known. So, from one cause or another, there are not a few patients who become, abruptly or gradually, cut off from communication with the outside world, practically forgotten as “dead men out of mind.” Yet, in many of these, there must surely exist yearnings after sympathy and that disinterested friendship which, “all for love and nothing for reward,” would take a personal interest in themselves.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 13 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th February 2018 - 22nd June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Asylums and their Neighbours. Can Neighbours help?

  • H. Hawkins (a1)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *