The GEEL Question…treating the mentally ill…



A fascinating article, well worth the read – looking at an alternative approach to our thinking about mental health and therapeutics…

“Half an hour on the slow train from Antwerp, surrounded by flat, sparsely populated farmlands, Geel (pronounced, roughly, ‘Hyale’) strikes the visitor as a quiet, tidy but otherwise unremarkable Belgian market town. Yet its story is unique. For more than 700 years its inhabitants have taken the mentally ill and disabled into their homes as guests or ‘boarders’. At times, these guests have numbered in the thousands, and arrived from all over Europe. There are several hundred in residence today, sharing their lives with their host families for years, decades or even a lifetime. One boarder recently celebrated 50 years in the Flemish town, arranging a surprise party at the family home. Friends and neighbours were joined by the mayor and a full brass band.”

See the link:


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2 responses to “The GEEL Question…treating the mentally ill…

  1. Excellent article! Thank you for sharing it. It really does seem a shame that this is on the wane in the face of the demands of modernization. Certainly, it seems like the model of choice for the mentally challenged.

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