Torrance State Hospital
From the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare web page: Torrance State Hospital opened its doors on November 25, 1919, with the transfer of five (5) patients from Danville State Hospital. At that time, it was generally believed that there was no hope for the chronically mentally ill. Consequently, reflecting the feelings and sentiments of society in general, Torrance State Hospital was opened as a custodial care institution for the chronically mentally ill.
Steadily over the years, the original patient census of five (5) grew to a patient census of 3,300 in the 1950's and 1960's, reflecting the attitudes of society toward mental illness. Treatment procedures at Torrance State Hospital followed the development of psychiatry and included shock therapy, psycho-surgery, psychotherapy and chemotherapy--active attempts at the treatment of mental illness quite distinct from the turn of the century approach of simple custodial care.
With the passage of legislation in 1966, which established the community-based mental health system, the stage was set for what became known as the "de-institutionalization movement". Throughout the 1970's to the present, Torrance State Hospital has continued its evolution, ever decreasing its census by affording patients the opportunity to resume community living. The Long Term Care Unit , a licensed Skilled Nursing Facility, was closed in 1996 and the Mental Retardation Unit, which had long been located at Torrance State Hospital, was closed in June 1998. As the need for psychiatric and long-term care beds on the grounds of the state hospital has decreased and availability of community supports has increased, some areas of the physical plant have been converted to other uses. Click here for more...