U.S. National Institutes of Health

Education Resources


Students examine primary and secondary source materials to explore mental health policymaking and the ways people have worked toward a more inclusive society.

Educators are welcome to adapt these resources to their students' interests and desired learning outcomes.

A Native American man escapes an asylum through a window

Mental Health and Incarceration

In 2020, some of the largest mental health providers in the United States operate in prisons and jails. In this module, university students explore the historic roots of this issue by examining scholarly publications and historic documents. In particular, students learn about how reformers, physicians, and advocates have addressed the incarceration of people with mental health conditions over the past 200 years and have struggled to protect civil rights of people with mental health conditions and create a more inclusive society.