Torrance State Hospital
From the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare web page: Torrance State Hospital opened its doors on November 25, 1919, with the transfer of five (5) patients from Danville State Hospital. At that time, it was generally believed that there was no hope for the chronically mentally ill. Consequently, reflecting the feelings and sentiments of society in general, Torrance State Hospital was opened as a custodial care institution for the chronically mentally ill.
Steadily over the years, the original patient census of five (5) grew to a patient census of 3,300 in the 1950's and 1960's, reflecting the attitudes of society toward mental illness. Treatment procedures at Torrance State Hospital followed the development of psychiatry and included shock therapy, psycho-surgery, psychotherapy and chemotherapy--active attempts at the treatment of mental illness quite distinct from the turn of the century approach of simple custodial care.
With the passage of legislation in 1966, which established the community-based mental health system, the stage was set for what became known as the "de-institutionalization movement". Throughout the 1970's to the present, Torrance State Hospital has continued its evolution, ever decreasing its census by affording patients the opportunity to resume community living. The Long Term Care Unit , a licensed Skilled Nursing Facility, was closed in 1996 and the Mental Retardation Unit, which had long been located at Torrance State Hospital, was closed in June 1998. As the need for psychiatric and long-term care beds on the grounds of the state hospital has decreased and availability of community supports has increased, some areas of the physical plant have been converted to other uses. Click here for more...
The first asylum for the insane erected in Ohio was built in Cincinnati, under an act of the Legislature, passed January 22, 1821, entitled, "an act establishing a Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum
for the state of Ohio." By the terms of this enactment the trustees of Cincinnati township were to furnish a site for said institution, containing not less than four acres of land, within one mile of the public landing on the Ohio river, and erect the necessary buildings (which were to be of brick) for the safe-keeping, comfort and medical treatment of such idiots, lunatics and insane persons of this state as might be brought to it for these purposes.