This is one of my favorite old buildings. It was built at the turn of the century. A mental Institution. Its walls have housed many a tortured soul over the decade. It has elegant lines and its former grace still shows. Although covered in moss and vines, the coloumns and verandas speak of proud architectural detail.
The building was closed in the late 8o's and has been left to ruin ever since. It now resembles a haunted house, something from a horror movie. In fact that is the only use this place now sees is as a film site for movies and some TV shows. Remember The X Files? It filmed many an episode here.
I am glad I wasnt around in those early days. Before the better psych drugs had been formulated. Stories of crowded wards, lobotomies and straight jackets reveal the brutality of nursing the mentally ill 100 years ago. It was only in the middle of the last century that drugs started being used to calm the savage beast of schizophrenia. And the side effects of those early meds were very harsh.
Although todays drugs do still have side effects, the majority of patients are able to lead normal lives, and relatively few ever need see the inside of an institution. But when they do, at least conditions are more humane than they were back then. Less crowded and more dignified treatments. Settings that are less like jails. These huge , impersonal institutions no longer have a place in our society. But I do believe there is a need for secure care for some of the most chronicly ill. Sadly some people are resistive to medical therapy. No ammount of medication makes a difference for a small percentage of the scizophrenic population.
Our Government is trying to close down what is left of Mental Hospitals in the Province. Aiming to have all residential settings, group homes , etc. The idea is wonderful for those who are stable on meds. But I have seen people, who with even the best care available remain ill, tortured souls. Without secure care, these persons are at risk.