An interview with nurse Kathleen Clayton Grootendorst, who reflects on her time working at Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C. Bedlam combines never before seen archival film and photography with present day super 8 footage of the historic Asylum at "Essondale", now known as Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C. The story of health care
worker Kay Clayton unravels to reveal her astonishing personal account of the hospital where she worked during two very different times in mental health history. In 1945, Kay was only 16 years old when she started as a naive summer relief staff on a large, noisy and crowded woman 's ward. Kay recounts her experiences on the ward during a time when there was little access to medications to assist in the care of these profoundly ill patients. Kay returned to work in the hospital again in 1973 until her retirement
from Asylum care in 1988. The advent of effective psychiatric medications made for considerable advances in patient care with a marked increase in patient liberty. But then, the government introduced the idea of de-institutionalization.
Lisa G. Nielsen (Director, Camera, & Editor), Heidi Currie (Co-producer & script writing), Anna Tremere (Script writing), Moira Simpson (Second camera & lighting), Mikki Herbold (Stills photographer, Carla Hotel (Voice over)
Produced with the assistance of the National Film Board of Canada, Filmmaker Assistance Program ; produced with the assistance of Douglas College.