Story: Mental health services

Women's reception house, Seacliff, around 1910

Women's reception house, Seacliff, around 1910

The imposing appearance and stigma of large Victorian-era and second-generation asylums made many potential patients reluctant to seek help there. As a result, smaller and more welcoming buildings were provided, out of sight of the main buildings, where new patients could be admitted. The double-gabled, single-storey building on the right is the women's reception house at Seacliff hospital near Dunedin. Seacliff's superintendent, Frederic Truby King, argued that entire mental hospitals should be designed on the basis of these small buildings for specific purposes. This eventually resulted in the 'villa' design, introduced around the country in the 20th century.

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Private collection, Warwick Brunton

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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/29411/womens-reception-house-seacliff-around-1910 (accessed 28 October 2021)

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