New Mexico State Hospital

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New Mexico State Hospital
Construction Began 1889
Opened 1893
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Las Vegas, NM
Alternate Names
  • Territorial Insane Asylum
  • Insane Asylum of New Mexico
  • New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute
  • Las Vegas Medical Center


This facility was established in 1889. They admitted their first patient in 1893 in a modest three story building. The original building which housed the Insane Asylum was completed on March 1, 1892, at a cost of $34,250. A year later the hospital was sufficiently staffed to open its doors for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons from throughout New Mexico. It was expanded because of the growing need for patient care. By 1935, the hospital was treating 750 patients. The term "mistreating", is more accurate as applied to treating mental patients during that era, because of the general medical ignorance about mental illness and disorders. Only recently, has mental illness been considered a disease like any other disease. In 1970 the name was changed to the Las Vegas Medical Center, and in 2005 it became the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute.

The New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute is the only state owned and operated psychiatric hospital in New Mexico. NMBHI is made up of five clinical divisions serving a wide range of public needs. Each division is separately licensed and has its own unique admission criteria. The most familiar is the inpatient care to adult psychiatric patients. They provide adult psychiatric services on six units, serving approximately 1000 admissions per year. The adolescent program is dedicated to treating adolescent sex offenders. The forensic division offers competency evaluation and treatment for adult patients who have allegedly committed a felony.


Main Image Gallery: New Mexico State Hospital


Three cemetery sections are on the Hospital facility: Cemetery A, Cemetery B, and Cemetery C. A nearby cemetery, not associated with the hospital, is the Mount Calvary Cemetery which is located 100 feet north of the the access road. The hospital burials historically had graves marked with metal or concrete. It does not appear to be used any longer & the number of graves is unknown. Names of those buried are listed HERE