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Fairfield State Hospital
Fairfield State Hospital, the third public mental institution to be established in Connecticut, had a stormy history from its inception. Members of the community actively resisted its location in the vicinity of Newtown and, for more than a decade, their attitudes had a negative Impact on its development. Dr. Leak, its first superintendent, although on the staff of Connecticut State Hospital for more than fifteen years and its superintendent for more than ten years, did not apply the knowledge gained through these personal experiences. Apparently neither he nor the Board of Trustees of Fairfield State Hospital recognized the importance of capitalizing on the developments that had taken place since the turn of the century at Connecticut State Hospital and Norwich State Hospital. From the beginning the Board expressed the attitude that this state facility for the men- tally ill would surpass its predecessors in the care and cure of those unfortunate People whose minds have become deranged with strange fancies and who have lost control over their thoughts and emotions.
This attitude contributed to the lack of communication between Fairfield State Hospital and the two other hospitals and perpetuated its isolation for more than twenty years. The associated drive for autonomy was reflected in the overt resistance to being integrated into the Department of Mental Health. This opposition was expressed by both the Board and the Superintendent during the fifties and sixties. Consequently advanced psychiatric concepts, practices and principles in nursing advocated by the Chief, Nursing Services were not accepted and implemented as readily in Fairfield Hills Hospital as in its sister hospitals. Click here for more...