Dead and Forgotten in an Asylum Cemetery

The New York Times. An Asylum’s Final Secrets | The New York Times, 2014.

This short video is about the old Willard Asylum in New York that was built in 1869 and finally closed in 1995. Over five thousand people have died there within that time period, and they are all buried in their cemetery in unmarked graves. A retired school teacher is trying to get the state of New York to release the burial records in order to give them proper head stones so that these patients aren’t forgotten, but due to HIPAA laws, they aren’t able to share that information. She believes that not giving the patients identities further contributes to the negative stigma surrounding mental health. This relates to our Grob reading this week since it has to do with a state-run asylum that probably had significant budget restraints that prevented them from giving these patients proper burials and headstones. It’s sad because it does seem like they were just lost and thrown away.