Volume 12: Mental Health Week – Foreword

For this edition of New Histories, we wanted to provide a space for students to discuss mental health throughout history, and so many have done so brilliantly. While there has no doubt been much disruption due to the impact of COVID-19, it is great to see so many students engaging with their historical interests and bringing them to you! 

This edition has informed us of the issues that have plagued mental health treatment historically and makes us consider how some of the problematic methods are still at work today. Articles such as those on institutional racism, on colonial treatments, and on the links between war and COVID-19 have been inspired by recent events and can tell us a lot of the connections between identity and mental health treatment. Combined, these articles provide a great overview of the history of mental health and just how it has affected people differently throughout history.

While the curriculum in schools continues to ignore the role of mental health in history and universities are only just adopting it as part of their options, these articles promote just how fantastic this history can be. From Victorian lunatic asylums to shell shock and Shakespeare’s representations of mental illness this article has featured a great range of articles and a number on other topics including one on the role of the 3rd Earl of Effingham in the links between Yorkshire and the United States and another on the issues with the conceptualisation of studying History simply being hunched over books.

I really enjoyed reading all of these articles, and I hope you do too.

Thanks once again, and all the best as ever

Ethan Moss

Editor-in-Chief

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