The article, “Where Asylums Live On,” in the Sunday Magazine of the New York Times, from November 1, 2013, offered a reprise of the history of “insane asylums,” or state psychiatric hospitals in the U. S. that previously dominated inpatient psychiatric care for the better part of an entire century. The decommissioning of scores of state hospitals began in the second half of the 20th Century with the shift in emphasis to “de-institutionalization” of the chronically mentally ill to outpatient settings. This NYT article reveals the typical state of inpatient psychiatric care in the Third World where many countries currently rely on the old model of institutional public psychiatric hospitals for their national systems of psychiatric care.
There are now so many state hospitals closed in this country since especially the 1980’s or so, that there are websites devoted to their history [such as Historic Asylums of Amercia], archival historical photographers have documented their settings for posterity, and some organizations have adopted these institutions and offer “state hospital” tours and vacations for the psychiatrically curious. [I can just see myself NOT taking my family to another state’s abandoned state hospital campus and enjoying the view, isolation, gutted ruins and what not.