Dorothea Dix Essay

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Dorothea Lynde Dix was quoted as saying, “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.” Dix began at the age of 39, and spent the next 20 years as a social reformer for the treatment of the mentally ill. When asked to teach a Sunday School class at a women’s correctional facility, Dix was appalled at the conditions, as well as the fact that many of the women weren’t criminals, but were instead mentally ill. This is where her crusade began. Her work had immediate results throughout the country, and the changes are still being felt even today. The website is an
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One of the links is to Notable American Unitarians and further directs the reader to biographies for people such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Linus Pauling, Adlai Stevenson, e.e. cummings and Pete Seeger. This website for the American Nursing Association gives a very brief overview of Dix, relating to her induction into the ANA Hall of Fame in 1976. It notes that although she had no formal nursing training, she was appointed superintendent of the female nurses of the Army during the Civil War. It comments on how her tireless efforts led to the recruitment of more than 2,000 female nurses for the Union Army. This feature for the Psychiatric News answers the question as to why Dix became so involved, and felt so strongly about the mentally ill. The article gives more detail about the Dix family. It was also interesting to note that many in the psychiatric field feel that Dix is truly an unsung hero of the mental health movement. This website gives much of the same information as to the life of Dix. It does, however, contain an interesting quote that she is supposed to have given to the Massachusetts State Legislature. "I call your attention to the present state of Insane Persons confined within this Commonwealth, in cages,
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