Untitled Document
» Français
Contact us
Douglas history
Open minds profles
Books of the 125th
Untitled Document

The Founders



An Appeal

The Foundation

The Power of Giving

The Patients

The Staff

The Services

The Research

The volunteering

Did You Know?
The Douglas of today still needs donations to support mental health research projects and Hospital services.
Make a donation to the Foundation

Low Funding: A Constant Concern

Year Provincial Funding (Daily)
1890 .30
1908 .39
1927 .58
1940 .75
1947 .25
1952 $ 1,40
1956 $ 2,25
1959 $ 2,75

In 1890, the Quebec Government paid the Hospital thirty cents per day per patient. Intended to cover lodging, meals, clothing, and extra expenses, this sum came nowhere near the amount required to properly meet individual patient needs.

Inadequate funding continued for decades

In 1957, Medical Superintendent Charles Roberts, MD, made this startling comparison, “The average cost of general hospital care in Canada is of the order of $15 per day…The mentally ill must be cared for at an average cost of less than $4.”

Thankfully, in its first seventy or so years, the Hospital was allowed to admit private patients, who paid higher fees and helped make up the shortfall. For example, in 1894, private patents paid $1.16 to $1.43 per day—approximately four times the fee received for public patients.
Without extra private patient funds, the Hospital would have had trouble surviving its first decades of operation.

Help for the Protestant Insane

A Grand Christmas Dinner Projected for Those Unfortunates by the Herald

Send in Your Dollars At Once

Christmas is a season of rejoicing of good will and happiness to all men. An empty and poorly filled stomach is a poor preparation for enjoyment of any sort, unless it be the discussion of an antidote to that unfortunate state of affairs. A good dinner is looked upon by all classes as one of the essentials of a proper observance of that day to days. The rich who can enjoy good dinners everyday in the year make special preparations on that day, while the poor men if they do not have a feast on any other day, strive to have one then, and will pinch and save for weeks in advance in order to gratify this laudauble desire.

But there are some among us who are deprived of all opportunity to provide for themselves, and must look to the charitable for that which they can not of themselves obtain. They are the inmates of our public institutions; and the most helpless of them all – the ones who perhaps have the fist clam on our sympathy – are those of God’s poor afflicted who, deprived if their reason and with it many of the faculties of enjoyment possessed by their sane brethren, can still appreciate a good dinner.

The financial condition of the Protestant Hospital for the Insane is too well known to the readers of the Herald to call for comment or explanation. With the directors ot has been up-hill work to make both ends meet, and there has not been at any time, nor is there now, any margin left for luxuries.

Mr Alfred Perry, who has made almost surhuman efforts, first of his endeavors to have the asylum built, afterwards in attempting to make revenue meet expenditure, is now anxious to obtain the wherewithal to provide the inmates with a dinner that will be a joy and a remembrance to them for days after. At first he thought of a private collection bit on the advice and at the request of several gentlemen decided to ask The Herald to star a one dollar subscription for this most laudable of objects. One dollar is all that is asked, no more; no less and it is thought that surely there are many gentlemen of kindly hearts in this good city of Montreal, who would little miss that small sum and who could not do a better deed than when reading this to put their hand in their pockets, just take out a one dollar bill enclose it with their card in an envelope and address it to The Herald with the inscription added, “For the Protestant Insane Xmas Dinner Fund”.

A Christmas Feast

Following this article, The Hospital received 437 dollars, 28 turkeys, 6 chicken, 2 geese, 25 pounds of coffee, nuts and fruit making the first Christmas dinner a memorable one. Among the donors was none other than John Crawford—Verdun’s mayor, and a neighboring farmer who had fought vigorously against the creation of the Hospital!

Top of page

Untitled Document

All rights reserved © Douglas University Institute in mental health, 2009 | Disclaimer
Affiliated with McGill University. A WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health