Category Archives: ECT and young people

Lake Alice: the West Malling connection

In my last post I mentioned that Selwyn Leeks, who ran the child and adolescent unit at Lake Alice Hospital in New Zealand, had a great-grandfather who was the proprietor of a private asylum in West Malling, Kent, England. In … Continue reading

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Lake Alice: who was Selwyn Leeks?

Who was Selwyn Leeks, the psychiatrist who ran the Lake Alice child and adolescent unit during its short existence from 1972 to 1978? Was there, I wondered, anything in his background that would throw light on his subsequent career and … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, ECT and young people, ECT worldwide | 1 Comment

Lake Alice: history

In June 2021 the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care in New Zealand between 1950 and 1999 spent two weeks hearing evidence about what occurred at the Lake Alice Child and Adolescent Unit in the 1970s.  “The Inquiry … Continue reading

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ECT at Lake Alice: a team of maggots

I have written here about psychiatrist Selwyn Leeks and the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on children and young people at Lake Alice Hospital in New Zealand in the 1970s. On Monday 14 June 2021 a Royal Commission on Abuse … Continue reading

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ECT in Illinois: the youngest reported patient?

The February 2019 edition of the Journal of ECT includes a letter from two psychiatrists, Joseph Cooper and Khalid Afzal, at the University of Illinois in Chicago, in which they describe how they gave electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to two small … Continue reading

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ECT in the Sunday Mirror and on Sky News

The Sunday Mirror on 13 January 2019 ran a feature about the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in England: “Teenagers with mental health issues given brain electric shock therapy on NHS.” The article came up with some statistics: “Figures obtained … Continue reading

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A (A Patient)

An inquisition of lunacy, where a person’s soundness of mind was tried before a jury and a Master in Lunacy, sounds archaic – indeed they date from 1324. Wealthy families would petition for an inquisition to protect their estates (or, … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, DBS and psychosurgery, ECT and young people, ECT in the UK, Legal cases | 1 Comment

ECT at Cypress Creek Hospital, Houston, Texas

In a recent post about the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in Texas, United States, I mentioned the fact that Cypress Creek Hospital in Houston is the heaviest user of ECT in the state. In 2016, for example, Cypress Creek was … Continue reading

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ECT given to young child(ren) in England

In England the NHS publishes statistics on the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Unfortunately, because many hospitals do not report their use of ECT, the statistics only pick up a fraction of ECT used, probably about a fifth to a … Continue reading

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ECT and young people in China

China accounts for over one sixth of the world’s population, but it generally does not receive much attention in discussions on the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Such discussions generally centre on its use in Western countries, especially English-speaking ones, with only … Continue reading

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