Film: 1661

War + Military | 1940 | Sound | B/W


Rehabilitation or psychiatric help post traumatic stress or shell shock for soldiers and civilians at the end of World War Two 1940's

Text : General Treatment - Military Authority
View of a military registration. Soldiers line up to receive their pay.
Text : General treatment Social Welfare, an active social welfare department is at the doctors service.
View of a young woman in a white coat sitting behind a desk. She is a social worker. She explains the two reasons for her job. Firstly to talk to the patient's wife or mother and secondly to provide help in easing the anxiety of family members and for the patient himself. The relatives are glad to discuss neurosis with a professional. The social worker is also keen to help the wives of patients who are expecting a baby. Close up of a door with a sign saying Social Worker. A serviceman knocks on the door and enters. The young woman social worker is seated behind her desk. The man sits opposite her. The social worker explains that she has spoken with the patients wife who is expecting a baby. The wife has three options. She can have the baby at home, but the social worker explains that she might not get the attention she needs. She can have the baby in their local hospital or she can go on a Government scheme to evacuate expectant mothers to the country and have the baby there. The social worker explains that the patients wife thought this was a good idea, but the social worker wanted to know what the patient thought. The soldier patient thinks that it is a good idea for his wife to give birth in the country, but he is worried about the expense. The social worker explains that the cost is met by the Government scheme.
Text : Disposal. The treatment of each patient must continue until the conditions of life and work to which he will return have been suitably selected or adjusted to his capacity. The disposal of each patient is therefore a matter for most careful consideration.
View of a man sitting behind a desk. He is a doctor. He says there are three options for disposal of a patient. First, the patient is returned to his unit as he is completely fit for duty, second, the patient is retained in the forces but with selected postings of which the patient is capable. This may included being re-trained while they are still in hospital to reach their full potential and the risk of a recurring neurosis is less. Third the patient may be discharged.
Image of an officer and a doctor sitting in a comfortable office discuss some of the patients cases. First they discuss an infantryman. He did not do well in the Infantry and could not grasp the workings of small arms weapons. But he is fit and capable of work. They decide to send the patient to an un-armed company. Next they discuss a patient who could not mix or make friends in his unit. He was a signalman in the Artillery. His condition has improved since he has been at the hospital. He is a good engraver but not much good at anything else. The doctor tells the officer that he must find work as an engraver. The officer replies that there is not much call for engravers in the army. They decide this patient should be discharged. Next they discuss a man who had been a bricklayer in civilian life before he joined the Signal corps. He suffered with anxiety so he was sent to hospital. The doctor says the patient is very intelligent and has a mechanical aptitude. The doctor suggests the patient be sent on a course as a fitter. The officer agrees. They discuss the next case. The patient was a bank clerk. He became depressed in his unit and was sent to hospital. He has improved. The doctor thinks he could rejoin a company. The officer questions the doctor to ensure there was little risk that the patient would break down again. The doctor assures him that the patient is cured. The officer says the patient could join the Infantry.
The doctor hands the officer all his notes about the patients they have discussed. The officer talks to the camera and says that he is not a doctor but that he and the army try to utilise the available manpower as best they can. The doctors say that the patient is at greater risk of another break down if they are returned to their original company, so they usually are posted to another unit.
A doctor talks to camera. He says that the third option of disposing of a patient is to discharge them from the army. He explains that this does not mean that the patient can not be a useful civilian. They are given support by the Labour Exchange and by social workers.
A public servant from the Labour Division interviews a recovered patient to try to establish what job would best suit him. The patient says he used to work in a glass works. He has been with the tank corps and also in the fire service. In the tank core he was a driver / mechanic. The public servant says he has two options, either to go into any job or he can train to become an engineer under a Government training scheme. The patient asks how long the training is. The public servant says about twelve weeks, he will fill out a report and the patient has only to go to his local Labour Exchange to sign on the course. The patient thanks him and they shake hands.
A graph shows how many patients have been retained by the forces, how many have returned to civilian life and how many are employed.
Narrator explains that many men and women patients are able to take an active part in life. Image of two soldiers shaking hands with a nurse. Narrator says that psychiatrists can not work miracles but they can help patients. Image of the two soldiers leaving the hospital.
Text : The end.

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