Brook Lane Psychiatric Center

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Brook Lane Psychiatric Center
Established 1946
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Hagerstown, MD
Alternate Names
  • Brook Lane Farm Hospital
  • Brook Lane Health Services


Brook Lane was established in 1946 by the Mennonite Central Committee in response to their awareness of a lack of compassion for the mentally ill. The Mennonite Central Committee was originally developed to be (and is to this day) the relief, development and peace committee of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Canada and the United States.

It took two years to transform a 115 acre Civilian Public Service Camp into a 23 bed psychiatric hospital, converting previous barracks into office space, and renovating a farm house into a kitchen, dining room and staff dormitory. This “new” establishment opened its doors in January, 1949, amongst the rolling hills and farmland of the Leitersburg area.

In the early years staff was almost exclusively volunteers and conscientious objectors. They worked side by side with the patients, sharing the gardening, cooking, baking, and laundry as well as farming and maintenance. Staff and patients joined together for meals and recreational activities to enhance a therapeutic environment. The hospital maintained a full census and in 1954 an additional wing increased the bed capacity to 38.

Brook Lane Farm Hospital incorporated in 1959 and became a free standing, not-for-profit organization, continuing its affiliation with the Mennonite Church to include representatives of the local churches serving on the Board of Directors. Outpatient treatment was added to the program to continue meeting the needs of the community and in 1965 the name was changed to Brook Lane Psychiatric Center.

While primarily serving an adult population, Brook Lane recognized the importance of broadening services to include a younger population and in 1980 added an adolescent unit to the hospital. The demand grew and in 1987 a separate 30 bed hospital building was constructed to serve children and adolescents. In the early 1990’s Brook Lane began offering outpatient treatment at a satellite office, and at the same time created a special education program, Laurel Hall School, that eventually provided services to students of all ages.

In 1997 Brook Lane Psychiatric Center became Brook Lane Health Services as it continued to broaden the scope of its programs. The adult hospital was consolidated with the newer child and adolescent hospital in December of 1996. What was previously the adult hospital became a group home, Stone Bridge Transitional Care Home, in 1998, serving initially adolescents and then growing to include children. In 2004, that building was remodeled and expanded to once again house the inpatient unit, offering the privacy of individual patient rooms to enhance the healing process. The group home was then moved to the other building, sharing that space with the Laurel Hall School.

Brook Lane continues to follow the mission and vision of the Mennonite Central Committee’s initial petition to provide quality mental health services to those in the immediate community and beyond. The Board of Directors and the staff work together to meet the goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all patients, students and residents in their care.[1]

Images of Brook Lane Psychiatric Center[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Brook Lane Psychiatric Center

Links & Additional Information[edit]

Official Brook Lane Psychiatric Center Website