October 24, 2012
Concord, NH – This month, New Hampshire Hospital (NHH) commemorates its 170 year history of caring for the mentally ill in New Hampshire. NHH will mark the anniversary on October 29th, which is the day in 1842 that the Hospital opened its doors to its first patient.
When NHH first opened, it was called the New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane, and was the 17th such hospital in the United States, and the 7th in New England. According to an entry in the first Annual Report, the first patient was a “violent and noisy” gentleman from Tuftonboro. He remained at the Asylum for just over two months, and was discharged in early January as "improved."
The celebration of its history will be marked with historical remembrances, and with recognition for the many thousands of patients and staff who have become part of the Hospital’s tradition of outstanding care. This will also be an opportunity to show appreciation to state and local officials who have helped make NHH what it is today. NHH will be celebrating this milestone with the current community mental health centers that together with NHH make up today’s system of care for those with mental illness.
"The last 170 years have brought a great number of changes in the understanding and treatment of mental illness," said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. "However, there are two challenges that remain as great today as they were in 1842; those are the deep and dire needs of those afflicted with mental illness, and the attempts of a caring community to meet those urgent needs with kindness and compassion."
NHH is a state operated facility that provides comprehensive inpatient psychiatric services to people in need in New Hampshire. To read more about NHH history visit www.dhhs.nh.gov.