Story: Mental health services

ECT treatment, 1956

ECT treatment, 1956

In 1956, when this photograph was taken of a training session at Porirua Hospital, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was widely used to treat mental illness. These nurses are helping to restrain the 'patient' (in fact, a nurse playing the role) to protect her from injury during the treatment. At that time treatment was unmodified, but ECT was later administered under anaesthetic and with muscle relaxants. However, in the early 21st century it is a controversial treatment.

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Porirua Hospital Museum

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How to cite this page:

Warwick Brunton, 'Mental health services - Mental hospitals, 1910s to 1930s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/29415/ect-treatment-1956 (accessed 8 December 2021)

Story by Warwick Brunton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 21 Jun 2018