James Lake Asselstine

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Biography

Jim became one of our several distinguished psychiatrists with a special interest in children.

Coming from St. Catharine’s Collegiate he lived from years one to six in Burwash Hall residence at Victoria, where his classmate Alex Sinclair was his roommate for part of the time. He was on the Hart House Music Committee.

In the RCAMC his war was spent in Ontario MIRs (Medical Inspection Rooms). He had always planned to be an obstetrician, but as Regimental Medical Officer at the Niagara-on-the-Lake army camp, he saw many teenagers with anxiety and depression, and so he decided to study psychiatry to serve their needs. He was an early member of the University of Manitoba Department of Psychiatry, which was founded in 1954, where he became an Associate Professor.

Working with the School Board, he was the initiator of Manitoba's first Child Guidance Clinic and stayed as its Director for more than 20 years. In preparation for this innovative clinic he had studied psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg, and visited several child guidance clinics in major centres. Medical students rotated through his clinic and he told me he loved his work.

Jim married a woman from Norway in 1949, and they had five children, all non-medical.

He had numerous publications on child guidance and disturbed children, and became Director of Child Development Services of the Manitoba Department of Health and Secretary of the Manitoba Psychiatric Association in 1974. Jim felt that the NDP government was so meddlesome in the civil service – replacing many of his staff with NDP supporters – that he took retirement and went into private practice, providing special help to alcoholics.

Dr. Asseltone passed away peacefully on March 21st, 2015 at the age of 94.

Link to Dr. Asselstone's obituary: http://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-223276/name-Jam...

 

Career Achievements

Director of Child Development Services Manitoba

Launched Winnipeg Child Guidance Clinic

 

Excerpt written by: Dr. Neil Watters

References

Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 15.

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