A piece of living history here in the Granite State recently celebrated a major milestone. New Hampshire Hospital marked 170 years of caring for the mentally ill on Sunday, and the Union Leader published a neat article exploring its evolution during its 17 decades of existence.
At its peak in the 1950s, the hospital housed as many as 2,700 patients, which meant a heavy workload for its staff of psychiatrists.
“At times in the 1940s and early 1950s, every psychiatrist had on average more than 250 patients to treat,” chief psychologist Paul Shagoury told the Union Leader. “It became impossible to provide any type of individual care.”
Justin Souther, a nursing coordinator at the hospital and an SEA member, said he’s proud to be a part of the hospital.
“I was kind of taken aback by it: 170 years old for a psychiatric institution and we’re still open and still progressing,” Souther said.
Souther said he thought a key to the hospital’s longevity was its mission to the community it serves.
“There are just people here that will just not relent in the pursuit of providing excellent mental health care,” he said. “It takes these kinds of people to keep these services going. I think New Hampshire has a very strong group of individuals that advocate for the mentally ill and their families.”
Souther said the focus on compassionate care goes from top to bottom at the hospital.
“It feels good to be a part of that,” he said.
You can find out more about New Hampshire Hospital by visiting its website.