< 1 min read
January 15, 2014
The "boarders" of Geel: Belgian town's historic mandate to help the mentally ill is suffering from erosion caused by "modern aspirations".
"Since the medieval ages, the small town of Geel, Belgium has had an eccentric but vital vocation: its inhabitants have created a safe home of sorts for the mentally insane. Inspired by St. Dymphna, patron saint for the mentally ill, Geel became a place of sanctuary for the mad: patients were lodged in the homes of local townspeople as “boarders,” and were expected to work alongside and participate in family life." -- Gracy Olmstead, the American Conservative