Man to Man (Mental Health Film Board, 1954)

Man to Man (Mental Health Film Board, 1954)


[Music] [Narrator:] Sanctuary, refuge, hospital. This is no snake pit. The doors are locked, but it’s not a prison
that we enter. For these locks are meant to protect patients. They open as though by magic, when the sick no longer need the safeguards
of hospital care. In the meantime, those who carry the keys
are not guards. Joe Fuller, psychiatric aide, is no man’s
keeper but his own. This is his job. His living. This ward is his work world. It’s a strange world, to us. [Men mumbling and speaking incoherently] [Joe Fuller:] What’s this, Mr. Jordan? [Mr. Jordan:] I made a notee. [Joe Fuller:] Very nice. [Mr. Jordan:] Do ya want one? [Joe Fuller:] Fine. Thanks a lot. [Speaking and mumbling] [Mr. Jordan:] That’s right, throw away those
chains. We don’t like chains around here. Do we, boys? [Other men:] Nah, no. [Speaking and mumbling] [Joe Fuller:] Well, thanks a lot, Mr. Jordan. [Mr. Jordan:] You’re welcome, I gotta go now. I got one of these for the night man and Frank. [Speaking and mumbling] [Mr. Mills:] Hey, Jordan is a lot easier to take since he started occupational therapy. [Joe Fuller:] Yeah, it gives him a chance
to work off a lot of steam. Nice cord, isn’t it? [Mr. Mills:] Yeah. [Speaking and mumbling] [Joe Fuller:] I hear you’re going home this
weekend, Mr. Mills. [Mr. Mills:] Yep, and maybe for longer than
that. [Joe Fuller:] Good. [Mr. Mills:] I’ll be glad to go home. It’s been almost a year now. And you know Joe, I was as bad as that guy
over there when I first came here. [Joe Fuller:] Yeah, I remember. [Mr. Mills:] Now that reminds me. I found a pipe in his locker. I wonder if he’d like to smoke it? [Joe Fuller:] Maybe he would. Sit up, Mr. Rusk. Come on. How’d you like to smoke? This is your old pipe. [Speaking and mumbling; sound of pipe clattering to the floor] [Narrator:] Perhaps later. Perhaps next time. Of all the tools in Joe’s work kit, time is
the most useful. [Music] The ability to accept time as an ally is usually called patience. Joe has learned to be patient. Patient as a mother. Patient as a nurse. At times it must seem to him, as patient as
Job himself. [Knocking on the glass window.] For Joe’s charges, like children, have many
conflicting needs according to their personalities. Their states of illness, their physical conditions, their momentary whims. The aide is the only constant human being in an environment marked by inconstancy. When one man delights in harmless mischief, another must be protected from his antics. Sometimes one can help another, a sign of his own improvement. But more often it’s Joe’s personal attention
that’s wanted. His word, his touch. [Music] Sometimes a bemused patient merely requires
a little prodding, a gentle reminder of where he is, while others seem to have lost all memory
of the simple tasks they learned as children. [Music] No longer able to take care of themselves, they depend on others to help them live from
day to day. Joe helps. Without resentment. Without contempt. This is his work. [Music] [Nurse:] Dr. Brand, this is Mr. Harve, a new
psychiatric aide. I’m bringing him up on this ward because you’re
so short-handed. [Dr. Brand:] We sure can use him. Glad to meet you. This is Miss O’Malley. She is the nurse in charge in this ward. [Mr. Harve:] Hello. And this is Mr. Fuller. He’s a psychiatric aide like yourself. Have you ever worked in a mental hospital
before? [Mr. Harve:] Oh sure. I know all about looney bins. [Dr. Brand:] We prefer to think of this as
a hospital where we treat sick people. [Mr. Harve:] Well, I didn’t mean nothing. [Dr. Brand:] No, I realize you didn’t. You see these are all special patients who are getting the best that the hospital
can offer them. There’s electroshock, there’s recreational therapy, there’s occupational therapy… and the companionship of other men. [Mr. Harve:] I usually work on a back ward,
where they don’t have that. [Dr. Brand:] Yes, I know, but for the time being I’d like you to work
here with Mr. Fuller. He has more than he can handle. [Mr. Harve:] Anything you say. [Dr. Brand:] Well, Mr. Fuller will explain
your duties to you. [Joe Fuller:] Well, like the doctor said. On our ward, we try to give a lot of time
to each patient. It’s kind of a new idea. The more treatment they get, the better chance they have of going home. [Mr. Harve:] I don’t go for stuff like that. I like a ward where the doctor comes through
once a day and spends five minutes. How did you get into this racket in the first
place? [Joe Fuller:] My wife. This was Helen’s hometown. She used to work over in the administration
building before we were married. Then I opened a small radio repair shop downtown. Only it didn’t pan out. Then she got her old job back, and I took
this job. How about you? [Mr. Harve:] I guess I just needed a job too. But I ain’t doing this kind of work for fun. And if the doctors and nurses ride me too
much, well, I’ll just move on. [Joe Fuller:] Sometimes I think of moving
on myself. Might not be a bad idea. [Narrator:] On a job like this, you learn not to consider yourself judge and
jury. Joe usually takes people as they come. On the other hand, he doesn’t have to like
everything he sees. [Piano] [Bill:] Ready? [Bill holds a music session with a group of
men singing “Sweet Adeline.”] [Mr. Harve:] Cut that out! [Mr. McGarrick :] Try and make me! [Scuffling] [Joe Fuller:] What’s your trouble, Mack? [Mr.McGarrick:] I don’t want to sing. [Joe Fuller:] Okay then, don’t sing. [Cough from offscreen.] Go ahead, Bill. [Bill:] All right, men. I’ve been working
on the railroad. [Choir starts singing “I’ve been working on
the railroad, all the live-long day.”] [Joe Fuller:] Take it easy. [Mr. Harve:] What that guy needs is a good
beating-up. [Joe Fuller:] Look Frank, that stuff doesn’t
go around here. [Mr. Harve:] And I thought you were a right
guy. [Joe Fuller:] I’m okay, but you can’t go around hitting guys. McGarrick wouldn’t hurt anybody. Besides, he’s in here because he’s seriously
sick. [Men sing “Dinah won’t you blow your horn…someone’s
in the kitchen with Dinah.”] [Narrator:] Dr. Brand usually confers with
the nurse and the aide after his morning visit with
the patients. [Dr. Brand:] I’m afraid I’m going to have
to transfer some of your men off the ward. How about some of those who haven’t responded
to treatment? [Nurse O’Malley:] Well, doctor, there’s old
Mr. Noven. He has had over 50 electric shock treatments and there’s no change at all. [Dr. Brand:] Well, all right, we’ll transfer
him. How about Rusk? He hasn’t improved much. [Nurse O’Malley:] Well, you were telling me
about him this morning, weren’t you, Mr. Fuller? [Joe Fuller:] No, it was just a little thing. [Dr. Brand:] Well, tell us anyway, Mr. Fuller. [Joe Fuller:] Well, I had been trying to get
Mr. Rusk to smoke his pipe, but he’s never shown much interest in it. And the other day I saw him holding it. And today, when I offered him a light, he accepted
it. [Dr. Brand:] Well, let’s keep him around a
little while longer and see what develops. I’m glad you persisted with that pipe, Mr.
Fuller. You know we depend on you for the little things. They can be mighty important. That just shows you what you could do with
more help around here. How does that list look now? [Therapist:] Underhand! [Narrator:] In mental hospitals nowadays, exercise is a prescribed activity. For not only does it keep bodies in good shape, it involves the patients with each other. and provides a normal, familiar outlet for
feelings. The leader is usually a trained recreational
therapist. [Therapist:] Strike one! [Narrator:] Not all of the patients are capable
of taking part. Some of them can’t coordinate sufficiently
to throw a ball. Others are unable to maintain interest in
anything outside themselves. But the games bring the men out of the wards
and into the sunshine. There’s something relaxing in just the sounds of people enjoying themselves. [Sounds of people playing ball] [Mr. Rusk:] Thank you, Harry. [Joe Fuller:] Harry? [Narrator:] Mr. Rusk had talked. Joe was so surprised and perplexed that he
never knew who won the game that afternoon. A few days later, he was attending one of the classes that are
part of an aide’s training in the care of the mentally ill. Dr. Brand was discussing the dynamics of identification. [Dr. Brand:] Even our rules for living are
designed to reach the patient with what for him is an unbelievable idea: that he can trust us. Common sense suggests you begin by always
behaving in a way that makes you his friend, not his
enemy. Even when you think he is incapable of understanding
what you’re doing. You can also try to know the patient as a
human being. Liking what is likable about him. Understanding what is not likable about him. If we remind him of someone who made him suffer, he’ll mistrust us. And if we remind him of someone he liked, he may come around to trust us. Yes, Mr. Fuller. [Joe Fuller:] The other day one of my patients, a Mr. Rusk down in recreational therapy, he
fumbled a ball. And when I picked it up for him, he thanked me and he called me Harry. I was wondering who Harry was? [Dr. Brand:] Does anyone have any ideas? Mr. Jackson? [Mr. Jackson:] It’s possible that this Harry
is someone that Mr. Rusk had played ball with in his
younger days. [Joe Fuller:] But he’s in his 50s. That would have been a long time ago. Although maybe he was thinking back on happier
times. Sometimes they do that. [Dr. Brand:] They do indeed. You can check with one of the social workers,
Mr. Fuller. Find out if there’s a Harry in the family. But no matter what you find out, I suggest you spend a little more time with
him. [Social Worker:] Mr. Rusk has a son named
Harry. An only child. Wait a minute, the boy was killed in action
in the Pacific. [Joe Fuller:] That’s it. [Music] [Narrator:] Now that Joe knew something about
the pain that Mr. Rusk had been unable to bear, the patient became a real person for him. Waiting for still more to emerge would be
easier now. [Joe Fuller:] How about a game, Mr. Rusk? [Narrator:] For Joe often found it difficult to live and work among the masks that the mentally ill use to protect themselves from
pressures they can’t stand. They like the formal relationships of card-playing
or checkers because the rules don’t change. Each act does not become a problem involving
feelings. Yet Joe is aware of suppressed feelings. How else could one explain the fits of odd
behavior that seem to have nothing to do with the game? [Joe Fuller:] It’s your move, Mr. Rusk. [Narrator:] Feelings that have been pushed
down so deep may take a long time to come to the surface. It was taking Mr. Rusk months. Communicating is apt to be frightening. It must be tenderly encouraged. The feelings may give rise to thoughts that
are so confused, they must be reshifted, straightened out, reordered, constantly, continuously. There is no time for anything but endless
rearranging in the vain hope of finding a sequence that’s satisfying. There are many ways to talk without using
words. There are many ways to connect with another
human being. We use our manner. Our eyes. Our smile. Long before we learn to use words. Joe, like a person working with children, has come to understand the wordless language. [Music] Many of his patients never talk, but they
will express feeling. Many of his patients seem not to understand, yet Joe must find a way of getting them to do what is necessary for their health and welfare. Patients can be handled physically without
violence. The kind word, the explanation, may be understood hours or weeks after it’s
been given, for no one knows what such patients hear and
remember. Mr. Rusk took three months to make his first
move. Another three was spent in getting up the
courage to play hard enough to win. [Music] By now Joe doesn’t find the games as one-sided as they used to be. The miracle of a man coming to life is slow, but no less wonderful for that reason. One by one he regains the little skills by which a human being moves towards relative
independence. It can be a delicate, difficult process. We can only follow it from the outside. We learn to notice small changes, but their why and how remain a secret. Growth is always wonderful. [Joe Fuller:] Mr. Rusk, this is our clothes
room. This is where you’ll be working, if you like
it. Now this will be your job, folding trousers. Just let the legs hang down like that and
fold it over on itself. And each one is marked. There’s a size 34. Over here, it’s all marked off, 32, 34, 36 Now, this would go in there. Do you think you can do that? Does that look easy? [Mr. Rusk:] 34. [Joe Fuller:] That’s right. [Joe Fuller:] That’s it. [Narrator:] It was almost a year before Mr.
Rusk could venture out of his shell. [Mr. Rusk:] You know when I called you Harry
the other day. [Joe Fuller:] Um hum. [Mr. Rusk:] You must have thought I was crazy. Well, I must be crazy or I wouldn’t be here. [Joe Fuller:] You just mistook me for your
son, that’s all. I must look like him. People make mistakes like that at times. [Mr. Rusk:] Yeah, but I’m crazy. I can see now you don’t look like Harry. [Joe Fuller:] Well, from what you told me
about him, he must have been a fine fellow. [Mr. Rusk:] The best! I can’t understand why he had to be… Ain’t nothing much mattered after that. [Joe Fuller:] The war took a lot of nice guys. Must have been hard on your wife, too. She’s all alone now, isn’t she? [Mr. Rusk:] I guess so. [Joe Fuller:] She’ll certainly be glad to
have you home again. [Mr. Rusk:] Nah, I’m finished. [Joe Fuller:] What do you mean, look how you’ve improved in the last few months. The doctors will help you to get well. [Mr. Rusk:] Not me. [Joe Fuller:] Why not? Look at Jordan. The one who used to talk so much. He has ground privileges now. He can come and go around the grounds as much
as he pleases. And look at Andy Bower. He’s working down on the farm. [Mr. Rusk:] Yeah, but look at Wilmer. He’s as lonely as ever. [Joe Fuller:] Well, sometimes I think Wilmer would rather stay here than go home. He likes to play the clown too much. [Mr. Rusk laughs.] [Joe Fuller:] That’s the first time I’ve heard
you laugh! [Mr. Rusk:] Well, it feels good to laugh. I guess I haven’t had much to laugh about
lately. [Joe Fuller:] Aw, you’re coming along fine,
Mr. Rusk. You’re getting better everyday. [Mr. Rusk:] You really think so, Joe? [Joe Fuller:] I certainly do. [Mr. Rusk:] Well, it was good talking to you
this way. [Narrator:] Then Mr. Rusk went back in. He’d need time to think over, to comprehend,
his big step forward. His wife. His home. He’d have to think about them. [Mr. Harve:] It’s 5:30 Joe, going to supper? [Joe Fuller:] Not just yet Frank, I want to
finish this job first. [Mr. Harve:] I guess they told you, I’m leaving
next week. Got a swell job in a factory downtown. [Joe Fuller:] Well, some people get all the
breaks. [Mr. Harve:] Well, I think it’s about time I got away from these people. How about you? When are you moving on? [Joe Fuller:] Well…it won’t be this week. [Mr. Harve:] Better hurry up.You aren’t getting
any younger. [Joe Fuller:] Haha, you’re not kidding. [Mr. Harve:] Well, I’ll see you at supper. [Music] [Joe Fuller:] Mr. Rusk, what’s the matter? Here, Mr. Rusk, you dropped this. Say, I didn’t mean what I just said to Frank. I was only trying to be friendly. I’m not even thinking of leaving. Mr. Rusk? [Narrator:] Regression is the technical name for Mr. Rusk’s medical condition. For Joe, no technical word could describe
the situation. After a year of patient, careful work, day
by day, hour by hour, he’s back at the beginning. The elaborate bridge over which Rusk has been
moving toward health, the bridge of which Joe himself was part,
has come crashing down. [Music] All that day, he worried about Mr. Rusk. [Nurse O’Malley:] Hello Joe. What’s for dinner? [Joe Fuller:] Huh! Oh, I forget. [Nurse O’Malley:] You forget! It must have
been real good. By the way, Mr. Rusk seems to have had a relapse. He hasn’t eaten anything all afternoon. Try and get him to take something. See you later. [Music] [Narrator:] Try to get him to take something. Try to pick up the milk you spilled. Try to remake the statue you dropped. [Music] It was even worse than it had been at the
beginning. Then Mr. Rusk had been angry at the world. Now Joe felt that the anger was all focused
on him. What’s more, he felt he deserved it. What to do about it? He could go home and try to forget about Mr.
Rusk, or he could tell Dr. Brand the whole story. [Joe Fuller:] No, it was my fault all right. I should have known how he’d react to the
idea of my leaving. [Dr. Brand:] None of us are perfect. I wouldn’t blame myself too much for an accident
like this. Have you been thinking about leaving? [Joe Fuller:] No! Well, I must admit that
I have thought about it off and on. But you know how it is, doctor, You get to know some of these patients… you get to like them, some of them. Patients like Mr. Rusk, a few others who get
better. I thought I was in on something real big for
awhile, something where I was doing some good. Then I messed it all up. [Dr. Brand:] Don’t worry so much, Joe. This might be the most important thing that’s happened on your job here. Do me a favor. Forget Mr. Rusk tonight; take your wife to the movies. Mr. Rusk will still be here tomorrow when
you come on duty. [Narrator:] Joe hung around the hospital that
night after his shift was over. Something had happened to him, too. Something that needed to be thought over,
to be talked out. Kate O’Malley was the kind of girl you could
talk to. Besides, this sort of thing was her profession. [Joe Fuller:] What did he mean, the most important thing that ever happened
to me? [Nurse O’Malley:] I don’t know… but when I first started in mental hospital
work, I used to get pretty discouraged when a patient
become upset. I used to feel like giving it all up and going in for surgery, or pediatrics, or
something else. But now I realize that every serious illness
has its ups and downs. [Joe Fuller:] Mostly downs, it seems to me. [Nurse O’Malley:] Listen Joe, you have a lot
to give these patients. I probably know more about Rusk’s illness
than you do, but you probably know more about Rusk. [Joe Fuller:] That’s what makes me feel so
bad about all this. Rusk was the one I was counting on to come
through. [Nurse O’Malley:] You had a man-to-man relationship that was the right medicine for him. You have a knack for doing that. That’s why you were able to help him more. [Joe Fuller:] I guess I didn’t think of it
that way. [Nurse O’Malley:] Someday, Rusk will come to realize you’re a man he’ll have to give up, and he’ll accept that too. You deserve a lot of credit for reaching Rusk
when the rest of us failed. It’s no easy job. [Joe Fuller:] No, and it’s not a bad one either. [Nurse O’Malley:] Depends on who’s doing it. [Music] [Narrator:] The world of the mentally ill is not very unlike the world we know. The things in it may appear distorted to us because of the special point of view from
which they are seen. What makes the point of view special is the particular pattern of feelings of a
particular person. Each pattern is different, as each person
is different, depending on what he was and what happened
to him. Joe has come to recognize these differences
and live with them. He has learned to accept surprising or even
silly behavior, as long as it’s not destructive. [Music] He has really come to like what is likable. And to try to understand what is not likable. He doesn’t feel threatened by patients who
express their needs directly. He doesn’t feel contempt for grown men who act with the exuberance of children. He takes them as they are. And this acceptance, this liking, is what Joe can contribute to the process
of therapy. For hospitals like this one are places where
sick people are being helped to recover from serious illness. Joe is part of a team, headed by a psychiatrist, that is constantly trying to speed this recovery, which otherwise might take a lifetime, or
might never occur at all. Along with some psychotherapy and physical
therapy, along with the occupational, recreational,
and industrial therapy, there is also the simple therapy of being
treated with respect, day in and day out, by the one sane person
in the ward. [Music] Time and patience. Joe has them to give. The bridge is beginning to be rebuilt on an
even firmer base. It may be easier for Mr. Rusk to move over
the second time. But he cannot be pushed. [Joe Fuller:] It’s your move, Mr. Rusk. [Climactic music playing] [Music]

Comments

(8 Comments)

  • James

    its too bad people aren't so understanding in the real world

  • Tesak MUST DIE

    1:52 OMG! Donald Trump was here

  • Julie Nielsen

    God bless those who care for people in these institutions.

  • holoholo haole no ka oi

    Tragically, he lost his son Harry in the Pacific war theater. God bless veterans and their Families that must endure this.

  • Sky 4

    He needs a beating or he is seriously sick and needs " medical" treatment …I think I'll take the beating which looks oh so much more unsympathetic thank you very much..LOL😱

  • Robert Gardea

    XzxzxzThese people are reciting the rosery This is where the sheep end up🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

  • B for the people not the elites!

    Isn't it good how far we have come to understand mental illness as well as many other problems in the world.
    It is so easy and sad to condemn the past instead of using the knowledge of the past to make true progress. People laughed at Columbus and Einstein as they had MANY failures before they got it RIGHT! GOD BLESS THOSE THAT TRY!

  • Linda Thrall

    If we had those psychiatric aides today like back then I think the mentally ill folks would get better treatment as they need it mentally ill people need better care to begin with. The mental hospital system is broken it needs to be torn down then built back up the way should’ve been done. The psychiatrists should be taught about psychiatric abuse and how to stop it before it gets started. I say psychiatric doctors can learn how to be better doctors and not have to face being strapped down on the gurney waiting to be executed for a crime they committed. Psychiatric survivors must be reconised and supported with working toward a better understanding.

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