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Featured Article Of The Week

Philadelphia State Hospital


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Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry (PSH) was a psychiatric hospital in northeast Philadelphia, first city and later state-operated. During its tenure as a psychiatric hospital it was known by several names- Philadelphia State Hospital, Byberry State Hospital, Byberry City Farms, and the Philadelphia Hospital for Mental Diseases. However, most of the local population referred to it simply as "Byberry". Like many state facilities of the period, it was designated to care for individuals with various cognitive and psychiatric conditions, ranging from intellectual disabilities to forensic pathologies. When operational, it was located on a large sprawling campus within the Somerton neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Byberry stood in operation from 1903 until 1990, when it became nationally infamous for patient abuse, warehousing of human beings, and extreme neglect exhibited towards its many residents. At its zenith in the late 1960's, it was the largest state hospital in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and held a clinical population of over seven thousand psychiatric patients. Today, much of the physical site of the former state hospital has been demolished, and the land has been sold off to local redevelopers, who have transformed much of the campus into a residential community for seniors. Many of the former patients were discharged to: local boarding homes, community rehabilitative residences (CRR), long-term structure residences (LTSR), community living arrangements (CLA) and outpatient community clinics (BSU's). Acute patients from Byberry were transferred to other state psychiatric facilities, such as those at Norristown State Hospital and Haverford State Hospital. However, a large portion of those patients discharged had no disposition at release. Click here for more...