By Diane L. Goeres-Gardner
The History Press, $21.99, 334 pages
After reading, Inside Oregon State Hospital – A History of Tragedy and Triumph, I understand the population that I serve in my professional life better. This book is quite applicable to the residents that I support on a daily basis. It’s not very often, that I have the chance to see what life was like for a specific group of people and be able to step into their shoes and get a small glimpse in what their life was like while living at OSH. Before reading this book, all I had to rely on when talking with residents about OSH were their own personal histories and stories while living in the wards and cottages. Now I now have a better sense as to how these residents lived on a daily basis and how to support them.
The author, Diane L. Goeres-Gardner has done her homework on the OSH, from the days when it was situated in east Portland to present-day and the brand new hospital it has become today after years of hard work by the state government and the support of both Salem and patient families. For most people, the correlation to OSH will always be the location of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, however, it’s more than just a movie location, for many it was a final resting place.
I strongly recommend this book for anyone who has wanted to know more about OSH and its diverse history that it had with the state of Oregon. This book can only bring more awareness to those who deal with mental health struggles on a daily basis and a better understanding of those struggles.
Reviewed by Annie Hicks