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Held by the University of Chester’s Faculty of Health and Social Care Historical Society, on Wednesday, October 7, at 4pm Dr Claire Chatterton, Nation Manager North, The Open University (and Visiting Professor at the University of Chester) and Dr Ann Mitchell, Lecturer, Mental Health Nursing at The Open University will discuss Women with Postpartum Psychosis and Their Babies – Then and Now. It has long been recognised that some women experience mental distress in the period after they have given birth. In the early 19th Century, severe postnatal mental disorder acquired the diagnostic label of ‘puerperal insanity’ in the UK, a term which later changed to puerperal or postpartum psychosis. The growing institutionalisation of mental health care meant that during the 19th Century women with this condition were often admitted to asylums, where they were separated from their baby and family. Some were to endure long periods as inpatients.

This was to continue largely until the 1960s, but changes started to occur in the preceding 20 years in the UK when pioneering psychiatrists began to admit mothers with their children. Mother and baby units were to become an established part of mental health care and remain so in contemporary practice.

Arlene Keeling PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita and Associate Director at The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, University of Virginia, will deliver the talk Alert to the Necessities of the Emergency: U.S. Nursing During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Wednesday, November 4, from 4pm to 5.30pm. This talk will describe US nurses’ response to the 1918 flu pandemic, analysing that response within the political, social and economic context of the era. It will also include a brief comparison/contrast to the response to COVID-19 today.

Professor Andrew Lovell from the University of Chester will look at Learning Disability and Offending: The Changing Context of Care on Wednesday, December 2, from 4pm to 5.30pm. This talk begins by describing the historical relationship between learning disability and offending, particularly in the context of the punitive approach which has generally been a predominant characteristic. Professor Lovell will draw on reflections on caring for such individuals within the hospital system of the 1980s and will explore issues of care and security through to the present day.

The events will be held via Microsoft Teams and full details on how to join will be sent out to all registered participants prior to the event. Please contact: to book a place.


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