Central State Hospital (Indiana)

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Central State Hospital (also known as Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane) was a psychiatric treatment facility located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Established in 1848, it served as a major treatment center for the state's mentally ill population until its closure in 1994.

History[edit | edit source]

The Indiana General Assembly authorized the creation of the Central State Hospital in 1846. The hospital was built on a 160-acre plot of land on the west side of Indianapolis. The first patient was admitted in 1848. The hospital was initially designed to accommodate 300 patients, but by the late 19th century, it was overcrowded with over 1,500 patients.

Facilities[edit | edit source]

The hospital complex included several buildings, each serving a different purpose. The main building, known as the Kirkbride Building, housed the administrative offices and patient rooms. Other buildings included the Pathology Building, which housed the hospital's medical and research facilities, and the Power House, which provided heat and electricity for the entire complex.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Treatment at Central State Hospital evolved over time, reflecting changes in the understanding and treatment of mental illness. In the early years, treatment was primarily custodial. However, by the late 19th century, the hospital had begun to implement more progressive treatments, including occupational therapy and psychotherapy. In the 20th century, the hospital began using psychotropic medication and electroconvulsive therapy.

Closure and Legacy[edit | edit source]

Central State Hospital was closed in 1994 due to changes in mental health care policy and allegations of patient abuse. Today, the former hospital grounds are home to the Central State Mansion, a residential and commercial development, and the Indiana Medical History Museum, which is located in the old Pathology Building.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD