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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Till The Break of Day

A History of Mental Health Services in Singapore, 1841-1993

This book documents the development of psychiatry in Singapore since its humble beginnings in the British colonial period. It should be of interest to health professionals, medical students, historians interested in the development of medicine and psychiatry and even members of the public with some basic understanding of psychiatry and psychology. Relatives and caregivers of psychiatric patients would also find the information furnished in this book enlightening.

340 pages | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

History: Asian History


Sociology: Social History

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“Ng mobilizes an impressive number of archival materials—drawn largely from institutional records, medical reports, and the published work and personal communications of doctors […] To the extent this book offers a multifaceted account of the history of a single psychiatric institution in Singapore, spanning the colonial and postcolonial eras, it invites its readers to draw comparisons and connections with other parts of South and Southeast Asia.”

Claire Edington | H-Asia

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Photographs, Maps and Other Historical Documents
Foreword to the Second Edition
Chronology of Events
A Brief Note on Currency
About the Author
Section One: The Colonial Era
1. The First Hundred Years: Early Beginnings, Physical Facilities and Years of Wanderings
2. Mental Conditions and Their Classification Systems: A Study of the Asylum/Mental Hospital Records
3. Physical Ill-health and Mortality Patterns of the Inmates
4. The Abolition of Restraints: Illusion or Reality?
5. Attendants and the Asylum Culture
6. Work and Occupation for the Mentally Ill
7. A Long Haul: The Japanese Occupation and the Post-war Years
8. From Colony to Nation: Changes and Transitions
9. Ethnocultural Influences: Lay Beliefs of Mental Illness, Help Seeking Behaviour and Indigenous Healers
10. Crossing the Border: Interface with the Law
Section Two: Post-Colonial Developments
11. Moving On: Service Provision and Further Developments
12. Shaping Lives and Minds: A Torch is Passed
13. The Multidisciplinary Psychiatric Treatment Team: From Myth to Reality
14. beyond the Barded-wire Fences: Psychiatric Practice in Other Settings
15. A Few Good Men: The Origins of Professional Bodies and Social Agencies
16. A New Dawn?

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