On This Day … 15 May

Events

  • 1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

Friends Hospital

Friends Hospital is a mental hospital located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Founded in 1813 by Quakers as The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason, the institution was later renamed the Frankford Asylum for the Insane. It was the first private mental hospital in the nation, and is the oldest such institution with a continuous history of operation. Its campus, which dates to its founding, is a National Historic Landmark.

Friends Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mission

The 1813 mission statement of the hospital was “To provide for the suitable accommodation of persons who are or may be deprived of the use of their reason, and the maintenance of an asylum for their reception, which is intended to furnish, besides requisite medical aid, such tender, sympathetic attention as may soothe their agitated minds, and under the Divine Blessing, facilitate their recovery.”

History

The Quakers established Friends Hospital in 1813, drawing on a belief that all persons could live a “moral, ordered existence if treated with kindness, dignity, and respect”, despite disabilities. The influential minister Thomas Scattergood decried what he considered the harsh conditions faced by patients in mental asylums; Scattergood instead called for the “moral treatment” of patients. This model served as an inspiration for the establishment of the Friends Asylum for Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason; it was the nation’s first privately run psychiatric hospital.

Services

  • Patient Services:
    • Adolescent Programme:
      • A dedicated treatment programme specifically design for young people 13-17 years of age.
      • 24 bed acute care psychiatric unit with separate wings for male and female patients (12 for males, 12 for females).
      • Private bedrooms with unit access to an enclosed outside courtyard.
      • Treatment of all major psychiatric disorders and co-occurring substance issues.
      • Holistic and patient centred approach, including regular group and family therapy, as well as individual therapy when indicated.
      • Individualised treatment, wellness and safety and discharge plans.
      • Academic support including an educational assessment and daily education instruction provide by a certified teacher.
    • Adult Programmes:
      • Dedicated Adult Units offering a rand of programming design for the varied needs of patients ages 18 to 65.
      • Private patient bedrooms with unit access to an enclosed outside courtyard.
      • Treatment for all major psychiatric disorders and co-occurring substance issues.
      • Recovery-oriented approach emphasizing each patient’s own support systems, strength and community connections in collaboration in professional treatment.
      • Individualised treatment, wellness, and safety, and discharge plans.
    • Older Adult Programme:
      • A dedicated treatment programme specifically design for older adults.
      • Private patient bedrooms with unit access to an enclosed outside courtyard.
      • Treatment for all major psychiatric disorders, including behavioural symptoms related to dementia.
      • Treatment for co-occurring substance issues.
      • Holistic and patient centred approach, including regular group and family therapy, as well as individual therapy when indicated.
      • Age sensitive, individualised treatment, wellness, and safety, and discharge plans.

Greystone Program at Friends Hospital Located on the grounds of the Friends Hospital, the Greystone Programme is a long-term community residence designed to meet the special needs for individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Consisting of two houses, Greystone House and Hillside House, the programme is dedicated to helping its residents move toward recovery, greater independence, and an enhanced quality of life. The Greystone Programme emphasizes the development of skills of daily living, socialisation, purposeful activity, and recovery enables residents to realise their dignity, worth and highest individual potential. Many residents have chosen to make the Greystone Programme their permanent home while other will successfully transition to a less structured environment.

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