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Kate Fraser

Born 10 August 1878, Paisley, Scotland.
Died 20 March 1957.

A pioneering psychiatrist who was influential in establishing the employment rights of those with mental health issues.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Alumnus
GU Degrees: BSc , 1900; MB ChB, 1903; MD, 1913;

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The following achievement is associated with Kate Fraser:

Pioneering work for the rights of those with mental health issues
Kate Fraser used her unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the social implications of mental health to ensure that the mentally ill were included in the provisions of the Disabled Persons Employment Act 1944.


The following honour is associated with this person:


Dr Kate Fraser (1878-1957) was a graduate of the University who became a pioneering psychiatrist. She was the first woman to be appointed as Deputy Commissioner of the General Board of Control for Scotland in 1914 and a full Commissioner in 1935.

She was born in Paisley, where her father was a doctor, in 1878 and began her studies at the University in 1894 in the Arts Faculty. She then switched to the Science Faculty and graduated with a BSc in 1900. She decided to continue her studies, this time focusing on medicine, and graduated with an MB ChB in 1903 and an MD in 1913.

She was appointed as the first School Medical Officer for Govan in 1908 and was a founder member and later President of Paisley Mental Welfare Association, itself a model for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (1920) on which she also served. An expert in the field of child psychology, she made innovative use of methods for measuring children's intelligence in her research into syphilis related mental deficiency.

She retired from her role as Commissioner of the General Board of Control for Scotland in 1947 and took up a new position as Chair of the Scottish Association for Mental Health. She was awarded a CBE in 1945 for her contribution to mental welfare. She died on 20 March 1957.