Stockton Mental Hospital

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Stockton Mental Hospital
Opened 1917
Closed 1989
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Hunter Valley, NSW
Alternate Names
  • Stockton Hospital
  • North Stockton Mental Hospital
  • North Stockton Mental Hospital for Children
  • Stockton Centre


Stockton Mental Hospital was established in 1917 in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. It is not clear when the first children were admitted to the hospital but newspaper reports show that in 1937 tenders were being called for new buildings for 'defective' children at the Hospital.

In 1941 it was reported in The Newcastle Sun that 50 girls were being trained to do much of the work at the hospital and that special attention had been paid to their needs in the design of the new girl only wards.

The Stockton Mental Hospital began to hold concerts from 1943 where girls who were in occupational therapy classes performed and displayed their handicraft, including toys they made for younger children also at the hospital.

By mid 1956, Stockton was primarily an admitting hospital for female adult and juvenile patients who were considered 'congenital defectives'.

According to the State Records Authority of New South Wales, by the early 1970s, the facility was known as Stockton Hospital, and was moving towards 'the objective of providing treatment and training for mentally retarded patients under the age of 16 years.' It was also 'becoming more involved with community services. In February 1973 a community services clinic was commenced offering services to retarded children and their parents in the Newcastle and Hunter Region.'

In 1989 responsibility for the Hospital was transferred from the Health Department to the Department of Family and Community Services and the name of the institution was changed to the Stockton Centre.