FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2018
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Glenville State College
Public Relations Department
GLENVILLE, WV – A new book written by Glenville State College Professor of Psychology Dr. Fred Walborn is earning praise for its witty, insightful, and sometimes painful look into asylums nearly a half-century ago.
The book, Two Days at the Asylum, is set four days prior to the moon landing in 1969. The novel takes readers on a tour of an asylum. Day One is ‘community day’ when the public was permitted to visit the facility for a small fee and witness the patients’ bizarre, manipulative, sexual, and religious themed behaviors. Day Two is when the doors are closed to the public and the reader may witness the bizarre, manipulative, sexual, and religious themed behaviors of the professionals – the psychiatrists, psychologists, administrators, nurses, and social workers.
Walborn drew on a brief stint working at an asylum for some of the content for the book. “I had over 70 pages of notes from my time working on the Admissions Unit with the goal of eventually writing a novel. It is an Archie Bunker version of mental health. It is not politically correct,” Walborn said.
“There is a real stigma against asylums. What people forget is that the word means sanctuary or a safe place, which is what people with severe and chronic mental disorders need the most. Following the closing of the munificent asylums, one-third of our homeless people are suffering from schizophrenia. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that one in five of prisoners in our expensive prisons are seriously mentally ill,” he said. Walborn advocates for the reviving of the asylums and he highlights how there is a movement among some Pennsylvania psychologists who are also advocating reopening some of the asylums. Walborn summarized, “People with severe and chronic mental disorders have no place to go. They end up in the streets or they end up getting into trouble and are imprisoned. Contemporary mental hospitals, like the Sharpe Hospital in Weston that replaced an old asylum, offer numerous services and patient advocates to verify that patients are not mistreated.”
Ten percent of the author’s proceeds goes to the Visionary Grants Program of the American Psychological Association to help fund efficacious mental health services.
Two Days at the Asylum earned a runner-up award in the fiction category at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival in addition to receiving a General Fiction Honorable Mention Award at the 2018 San Francisco Book Festival, an Honorable Mention Award at the 2018 New York Book Festival, and an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Beach Book Festival. Two Days at the Asylum recently won a Readers Favorite Award. Additionally, the publisher, Headline Books, Inc., won 2017 and 2018 Independent Publisher of the Year awards.