St. Servatius, Venray

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St. Servatius, Venray
Construction Began 1905
Opened 1907
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Alternate Names


Psychiatry and Venray go over a hundred years together. The lunatic of 1884 has led to achieving good care for psychiatric patients in Limburg. In 1905 started the construction of "Lunatic Asylum" St. Servatius for men. The client is the Superior General Father Amadeus Stockmans of the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity of Ghent.

Initially Roermond would be the place for this, but through the efforts of Mr. Trynes businessman in Venray and member of the Provincial Council of Limburg, chose the brothers for Venray. Again the hands of Mr. Trynes in 1907 on the other side of Venray started construction of the St. Anna "founded" for women. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary from Ghent.

Although the two Belgian congregations have the same founder, Canon Peter Joseph Triest from Ghent, the institutes in Venray hardly work together. There is a strong separation between men and women and both devices work as an independent organization separate. In St. Servatius to work early sixties men only. The first doctor who is linked to the establishment, Dr. Janssen, formerly GP in Venray. In St. Anne's work until late fifties / early sixties exclusively women, except for some employees in the technical department and the farm. And of course the first physician Dr. Goossens.

The first patient of St. Servatius is recorded on February 7, 1907. At the time of the official opening on May 27, 1907 there are already included nearly 200 patients. In 1914 there are more than 600! On December 1, 1908, the first patient is admitted to Saint Anna. A year later there are already 206. The official opening of St. Anne took place on June 19, 1911. The number of patients at the time was 320.

Soon need the Brothers and Sisters of Charity help and lay personnel enter the hallowed halls of the institute. Still, especially the medical staff for years understaffed. Doctors simply have little interest in psychiatry. "It's therapeutic unsatisfactory", is the view. "It gives a lot of red tape and it deserves bad." And we must do much with little in Venray. With patients as driving forces in the various workshops that the facility is rich. Their help is vital because as religious as nicely say, "We have everything that ends in a long ij":. Farm, butchers, laundry, dressmaking, mattenmakerij, bakery, weaving, printing, Timmerij, forge It institute is self-sufficient. A world in itself, with brothers or sisters at the helm. They are at the top of the hierarchy. Only when in the late fifties increasingly religious uittreden, this image changes. Through the gezinsverpleging supplies the population of Venray a important contribution to the treatment of patients, they spend the day at the various workshops at the institute, working at the sheltered workshop or participate in a treatment program, and stay overnight at Venray families In exchange, the family received an extra penny. Also, some patients stay full time in the family. These are mostly women, who help with housework, or elderly people who no longer participate in a treatment program.

The fifties are also a turning point for another reason: the introduction of psychotropic drugs reduces the symptoms of many patients considerably. Many of them will be open to new therapies and treatments. Neurologists, psychologists, movement therapists, social workers and creative therapists reinforce the medical team. The number of staff in the administration and other support services is growing rapidly.

In the sixties of the last century, one comes to the understanding that is needed for a large group of patients with a mental disability, formerly called idiots, another treatment, which is why in 1970 the institute New Spraeland built in Oostrum. Approximately 200 patients from St. Anne and St. Servatius be transferred to New Spraeland. St. Paschalis in Oostrum will focus on the treatment of drug and alcohol addicts. Huize St. Vincent in Venray, an institution for follow-up care of mentally ill women in 1968 will be part of St. Anna. There are in Venray, from the sixties of the last century, so many changes relating to the care and treatment of psychiatric patients. The influence of the religious continue to fall as Saint Servatius and Sint Anna merge in 1976, and for taking the first time in history seemed session in the board. Both institutions will continue under the name Psychiatric Center Venray. In 1992 join the congregations of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity permanently from the Board; Vincent van Gogh Institute is a fact. Since 2003, the institute is part of the mental health of North and Central Limburg. Because the name mental health NML is not evident enough, is renamed the Institute in 2010 for "Vincent Van Gogh, for mental health." St. Servatius is named "Servaashof". [1]



  • 100 years of psychiatry in Venray by Marlet, H. Vriens



  1. Source: (Translated by Google)