Tearing Down the Walls in Mental Health Care

Circulating Now from NLM

By Susan Speaker

May is Mental Health Month, an annual opportunity to raise public awareness about mental health problems and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness through advocacy and education. For the history-minded, it’s also a chance to see how much things have changed since the first Mental Health Week was observed, back in 1949. Mental illness carried a much heavier stigma then, and those with severe psychiatric problems were often confined to institutions for years, forgotten and ignored. Their advocates were only beginning to protest this status quo. One such reformer was Mike Gorman (1913-1989), whose legacy is now featured on the National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science website.

A young man in a suit holding a document talks on the phone. Mike Gorman at the Daily Oklahoman, ca. 1948
Profiles in Science Mike Gorman Papers

In July of 1946 Gorman was a young reporter for the Daily Oklahoman newspaper. Sent out to investigate a reader’s complaint about conditions in the…

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