Print ISBN: 978-1-64265-671-8
# of Pages: 400
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $295
e-ISBN: 978-1-64265-672-5
eBook User Price: $
Free Online Access
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Defining Documents in American History: Mental Health

August 2020

From the time of the Salem witch trials to the current epidemic of mass shootings and hate crimes, our nation’s approach to mental health continues to evolve. Treatment for mental disease today bears little resemblance to the chains and straitjackets of “lunatic asylums” but access to care remains a concern. Debates surrounding gun control issues, the opioid crisis, terrorism, and the devastation and unintended consequences of untreated PTSD tend to revolve around concerns over how to appropriately address concerns about mental health and wellness.

This two-volume set includes documents in the following categories:

Mental Health Described and Undefined

  • A Monograph on Mental Unsoundness (1898) by Francis Wharton
  • Memorial Soliciting a State Hospital for the Protection and Cure of the Insane (1848) by Dorothea Dix
  • Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly

Mental Health and the Courts

  • The Insanity Defense for Crime (1909) by John B. Chapin
  • Jackson v. IndianaO'Connor v. DonaldsonAddington v. Texas

Mental Health and the Government

  • S. 998: Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act of 2019
  • National Mental Health Act (1946)
  • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA)
  • Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

Each in-depth chapter provides a thorough commentary and analysis of each primary source document, often reprinted in its entirety. Commentary includes a Summary, Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Detailed Document Analysis, and discussion of Essential Themes. Many of these chapters are bolstered through the inclusion of Supplemental Historical Documents, which broaden the scope of the book and offer additional context.


View a Full List of Defining Document Titles