I went to go see the exhibition in Whitchurch Hospital prior to it closing. It was a very moving experience. As I walked in the corridor, I wasn’t expecting the wave of emotion that flowed over me.
The corridor seemed to go on forever, the buzzing of the lights echoed with each and every step. My mind stopped and I just thought how scary this place would be if you were ill. I thought back to when I was ill. I thought of how scared of everything I was, of how I couldn’t breath and how I would shake. I walked down the corridor and I filmed each step. I hope that it captures a little bit of the emotion.
I finally got to the exhibition, oh yes this was all before I even got there! Walking through the corridors, seeing the outside and the graffiti on the walls was an important part for me, even if it wasn’t part of the official exhibition.
When you walked into the exhibition, you saw all the faces of everyone that used to work there. Also, did you know that had I been alive in 1908, I would have been called ‘Mentally Subnormal!’
There were a few things that were comical. The reasons for the nurses leaving were very funny, one was because the nurse was going to get married and another was ‘Good worker, very noisy’.
I got very excited when I saw the National Centre of Mental Health merchandise *waves to NCMH Hi guys!*
Did you know that the hospital was initially going to be called Cardiff Lunatic Asylum? However, the medical superintendent, Dr Edwin Goodall, MD, FRCP, MRCS, proposed that before it was open that they should rename it ‘The Cardiff City Mental Hospital’. He, in my mind, was the first stigma fighter. He saw the connotations that the word Lunatic and Asylum would have on the patients so he fought against the committee to make sure that it was called, ‘The Cardiff City Mental Hospital.’ I can officially say that he is one of my ultimate mental health heroes.