Why not organise a visit to the Bethlem Royal Hospital Museum? The Bethlem Royal Hospital is the original 'Bedlam' and is one of the oldest hospitals for the treatment of mental illness in the world. It has a fantastic art gallery with a collection of drawings and paintings produced by people with mental illnesses. The Bethlem Royal Hospital website states that it's collection was started by two psychiatrists:

"The core of the collection was started by two psychiatrists, Dr Eric Guttmann and Dr the Hon Walter Maclay who worked at the Maudsley Hospital in the 1930s. They were clearly influenced by the art of the insane. Guttmann was primarily interested in clinical research. Maclay, a wealthy man, collected for his private enjoyment, and his interest was an extension of his more general cultural pursuits.

Also dating from this period are the pictures produced during experiments at the Maudsley Hospital with the hallucinogenic drug mescaline, in which Guttmann was particularly involved. These experiments were based on the theory that drug-induced hallucinations would demonstrate the hallucinations experienced by patients during psychotic illnesses. After their deaths a Trust was set up and the curator, Dr D L Davies, continued to acquire paintings, notably those by Louis Wain (1860-1939)".

It also has paintings and drawings by:

Richard Dadd,

William Kurelek,

and Louis Wain.

The visit could include an illustrated talk on the history of the hospital and mental illness, an archive handling session using the19th century case books and Victorian photographs, a workshop based round the art collection, and most interestingly, talks from current clinicians.

Link to
Visiting Bethlem Royal Hospital

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