Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Weston State Hospital
by Jacks, Kim, M.A., West Virginia University, 2008, 168; 1458739
Abstract (Summary)

Weston State Hospital was a major mental institution in Weston, West Virginia. This study traces the history of the hospital from its construction in the 1860s to its closing in 1994. It was established as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, and then called the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane from 1863 to 1915. The building was designed following the Kirkbride plan, which would allow for a pleasant and orderly place of refuge for 250 patients. Gradual overcrowding led to its becoming a custodial facility for over 2300 patients by the 1950s. This study examines the management of the institution, the daily life of both patients and employees, and the methods of treatment offered, from gentle “moral treatment” to hydrotherapy, electric shock, lobotomy, and psychotropic medications. The effects of deinstitutionalization are discussed, including the numbers of mentally ill now among the homeless or held in jails and prisons.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fones-Wolf, Elizabeth
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: MAI 47/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Mental health, Science history
Keywords: West Virginia
Publication Number: 1458739
ISBN: 9780549797807
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