Writer Nellie Bly used journalism to unveil issues dealing with mental institutions such as, poor regulations, abuse, and neglect.
“shaving the patient's head and washing it with vinegar, making the patient stand under a waterfall, or pouring cold water on his or her head”
Patient neglect could be partly attributed to the fact that besides doctors, there were no trained professionals in the mental institutions. For example, the asylums “were mainly staffed by untrained attendants, with doctors usually the key figure of authority.” However, Bly’s investigation helped eliminate the asylum attendants who had no mental health education and turned those uninformed and neglectful positions “into mental health nurses, and a range of other professionals [such as] mental health social workers, psychotherapists, clinical and health psychologists [that] started to contribute to the care and treatment of those with mental health problems and to understandings about mental health and illness” (Darity)
By unveiling the poor regulations, patient abuse and neglect, Nellie Bly not only contributed to improving the lives of the mental patients at Blackwell’s Mental Institution, but contributed to the health of mental patients overall.