The Sunday Story: Lost Mental Hospitals, Lost Patients

2024-06-23·34 分


A few hours north of Seattle, Washington, there's a kind of ghost town dotted with decaying barns and milking sheds, an old cemetery, and once-stately buildings that housed thousands. It was never an actual town, it was a psychiatric facility, Northern State Hospital—a place that contained deep contradictions. The gardens and farm fields were designed to provide residents work and fulfillment in a bucolic setting. But the medical treatments were often harsh.

Northern State closed in 1973. It was a time when states across the nation were shutting down their own mental institutions in favor of a new model of community care.

Today on The Sunday Story, a look at the move towards deinstitutionalization—what it's meant for people with mental illness and for the entire society.

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