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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
2,269 articles and counting
We need your help!
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Mission Statement


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The Mission

The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.

The Statement

This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.

Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.

With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.

Featured Article Of The Week

New Mexico State Hospital


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This facility was established in 1889. They admitted their first patient in 1893 in a modest three story building. The original building which housed the Insane Asylum was completed on March 1, 1892, at a cost of $34,250. A year later the hospital was sufficiently staffed to open its doors for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons from throughout New Mexico. It was expanded because of the growing need for patient care. By 1935, the hospital was treating 750 patients. The term "mistreating", is more accurate as applied to treating mental patients during that era, because of the general medical ignorance about mental illness and disorders. Only recently, has mental illness been considered a disease like any other disease. In 1970 the name was changed to the Las Vegas Medical Center, and in 2005 it became the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute.

The New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute is the only state owned and operated psychiatric hospital in New Mexico. NMBHI is made up of five clinical divisions serving a wide range of public needs. Each division is separately licensed and has its own unique admission criteria. The most familiar is the inpatient care to adult psychiatric patients. They provide adult psychiatric services on six units, serving approximately 1000 admissions per year. The adolescent program is dedicated to treating adolescent sex offenders. The forensic division offers competency evaluation and treatment for adult patients who have allegedly committed a felony. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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Fort Bayard was established in 1866. The fort served as home to Indian scouts and Buffalo Soldiers and played a key role during the Apache Wars. The post was decommissioned in 1900, but Army Surgeon General George M. Sternberg, noting the good health enjoyed by Fort Bayard troops, successfully worked to maintain the post as an Army hospital – primarily for tuberculosis patients.

Recent Message Board Posts

Hello,

In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.

Asylum Projects Facebook Page
If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.

Upcoming Events Calendar

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Asylum News   (news you can edit!)

February 7, 2016 Clarinda struggles to fill former hospital

The 128-year-old former mental health institute in the small southwest Iowa city of Clarinda isn’t your typical real estate opportunity, and so far no one is rushing to move in. More than seven months after the state closed the Clarinda Mental Health Institute, much of the sprawling building remains empty, including entire floors that haven’t been used in decades.

February 1, 2016 Efforts continue to preserve other parts of former Peoria State Hospital grounds

Christina Morris happily remembers Sunday morning breakfasts with her grandparents, followed by visits to the peaceful cemeteries on the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital, where some family members are buried. “My interest with the state hospital started when I was about 7 years old,” Morris said in a recent interview. “When I would come onto the grounds (my grandfather) would say that this was a place of special people. (By special) I thought he meant giants, because these buildings were so big and beautiful and immaculate to me. I just was enamored by how beautiful it was.”

January 7, 2016 That Time The United States Sterilized 60,000 Of Its Citizens

Not too long ago, more than 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. Most of these operations were performed before the 1960s in institutions for the so-called “mentally ill” or “mentally deficient.” In the early 20th century across the country, medical superintendents, legislators, and social reformers affiliated with an emerging eugenics movement joined forces to put sterilization laws on the books.

January, 6, 2016 Pa. hires firm to develop plan for Harrisburg State Hospital site

Harrisburg, PA-The state has hired a Lancaster planning company to help it figure out what to do with the former Harrisburg State Hospital, which closed 10 years ago. Since closing in 2006, the hospital complex has housed state workers from the state police, Department of General Services and the Department of Human Services. It is now part of the larger DGS Annex property, which encompasses 303 acres across Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township.