Exploring the history of mental health care in Canada with the Keys To Our Past film series
Exploring the history of mental health care in Canada with the Keys To Our Past film series

Given that the site of Waypoint’s main campus has a history older than Canada’s
Keys to Our Past film series 
John LeClair (actor), Rachel Gerow
and Gary Bold (production staff) review
a scene from the Keys To Our Past film series 
confederation, we wanted to celebrate the country’s sesquicentennial in our own unique way. Equipped with a Canada 150 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Waypoint Research Institute set to work on a series of films highlighting the history of mental health care in Canada.

Keys To Our Past is a series of six 10-minute films that explore Waypoint’s own 150-year history as a psychiatric hospital in small town Ontario. Waypoint played a crucial role in the history of mental health care and research in Canada, and these videos capture that history, showing us where we are today and how we got here.

Through these videos, we see the changes in mental health care starting with the development of an asylum system in the 1800s. The walk through history includes the fascinating transformation of mental health treatments over time and the present-day challenges we face in moving mental health issues from being stigmatized to having compassion. The videos embrace stories, told from a very personal perspective, about Moral Treatment, Somatic Therapy, Drug Therapy, Not-Criminally-Responsible Legislation, Language and Stigma, and the Architecture and Location of Asylums.

All the videos were produced in house with support from staff from research, audio-visual and communications. Waypoint staff even contributed to the acting and art work in the films. You can check out the videos on Waypoint’s YouTube page.