Nellie Bly by Gwen Streitman

For many, mental institutions and insane asylums tend to be a pretty big fear. But over a hundred years ago, a woman named Nellie Bly, in order to write a newspaper article about it, got herself admitted into one. By getting herself into a mental institution, and having a plan to get out, Bly was able to figure out what was really happening behind the walls.

Nellie Bly helped improve institutions across the country by changing the living conditions, the treatment of the patients, and the education of the staff.

  • Mental institutions often overcrowded
  • For forms of treatment, nurses could treat patients by having them purge, bleed, and even going through an exorcism
  • Staff often had better food and living conditions then patients

Bly's impact

Through her newspaper articles she wrote after leaving the institution, her words were able to convince and show others how truly awful things were at Blackwell's Island and other mental institutions. By getting people aware, medicines were starting to be researched over certain disorders, and were able to be implemented in these places.

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