Story: Mental health services

Asylums: seclusion room, Porirua (3rd of 4)

Asylums: seclusion room, Porirua

Porirua Lunatic Asylum's F Ward housed 'refractory' (disturbed) female psychiatric patients from 1910 until the 1970s. This photograph shows a seclusion room, used until the late 1960s. Its walls and door were very thick and heavy to deaden sound. A peephole in one wall allowed staff to observe patients at all times. A shutter could be placed over the window to prevent violent patients from harming themselves. The mattress and blanket are of heavy canvas to prevent them from being torn up.

Courtesy of Porirua Hospital Museum

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Marguerite Hill

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How to cite this page:

Warwick Brunton, 'Mental health services - Lunatic asylums, 1840s to 1900s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2024)

Story by Warwick Brunton, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 5 May 2022