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|Title= Mendota Mental Health Institute
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|Title= Vermont State Hospital
|Image= Mendota03.jpg
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|Image= VermontSH_01.jpg
 
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|Body= Mendota opened on July 14, 1860 when it admitted a patient who had been brought all the way from Oconto County...a long trip by horse and wagon. Even though the hospital was not yet ready to open, that Saturday it was decided that, because of the distance the patient had been brought, he should be received. Thus began Mendota's ready response to the needs of patients and communities, which has been its tradition.
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|Body= The Vermont State Hospital for the Insane was built in 1890 in Waterbury, Vermont, in response to overcrowded conditions at the Vermont Asylum for the Insane in Brattleboro (Brattleboro Retreat after 1898), Vermont's first and only facility for the care of the mentally ill. Originally built for "the care, custody, and treatment of insane criminals of the state," the Waterbury State Hospital eventually became the temporary or permanent shelter for Vermonters with mild to severe mental disabilities and others who had been committed for epilepsy, depression, alcoholism, or senility. Throughout its history, methods of patient diagnosis and treatment varied according to the philosophy of the superintendent.
  
Mendota has gone through many changes since then, some of them dramatized in the changes in its name. It opened as an "Asylum", appropriate in an era when little could be done for the mentally ill except to house and care for them...i.e. to give them asylum...when their families and communities could no longer cope with their needs.
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Image of Eugene A. Stanley Early twentieth century efforts among reformers to reduce the stigma of mental illness and confinement in state hospitals yielded to the pessimism of the eugenics era, which brought back the stigma with a vengeance. It was during these years that Dr. Eugene A. Stanley directed affairs at Waterbury. An advocate of eugenics, Dr. Stanley testified in favor of the sterilization bills in 1927 and 1931, provided the Eugenics Survey access to patient records, and played an influential role as an advisor to the Eugenics Survey. He was a member of the sub-committee on "Care of the the Handicapped" for the Vermont Commission on Country Life.
  
In a later era, when patients were recognized as having an illness...mental illness...the name was changed to Mendota State Hospital, reflecting its responsibility for providing treatment.
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Dr. Eugene A. Stanley (1875-1936) was born and raised in New Hampshire and educated at Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery and Jefferson Medical College. He moved to Waterbury, Vermont in 1899, where he served as a health officer and assistant physician at the Vermont State Hospital from 1908 to 1918. He became Vermont State Hospital superintendent in 1918, succeeding Dr. Walter L. Wasson, who had perished in the influenza epidemic . Stanley held that position until his death in 1936.  [[Vermont State Hospital|Click here for more...]]
 
 
In more recent times, with the discovery of psychiatric medications and with new approaches (some of which resulted from research at Mendota itself) it became possible for the mentally ill to be treated in community hospitals and clinics. But there remained a need for a place for those who required more specialized treatment than most community hospitals and clinics could provide, and where the tradition of research, education, and consultation that Mendota had already established could continue. Mendota was then changed to its present name of Mendota Mental Health Institute.  [[Mendota Mental Health Institute|Click here for more...]]
 
 
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