(Lunatic Asylum from Wikipedia)
The rise of the lunatic asylum (or mental asylum) and its gradual transformation into, and eventual replacement by, the modern psychiatric hospital, explains the rise of organised, institutional psychiatry. While there were earlier institutions that housed the “insane“, the conclusion that institutionalisation was the correct solution to treating people considered to be “mad” was part of a social process in the 19th century that began to seek solutions for outside families and local communities.
In Britain at the beginning of the 19th century, there were, perhaps, a few thousand “lunatics” housed in a variety of disparate institutions; but, by the beginning of the 20th century, that figure had grown to about 100,000. This growth coincided with the development of alienism, now known as psychiatry, as a medical specialty.:14
(Psychiatric Mental Health Hospital from Wikipedia)
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental health hospitals, and mental health units, are hospitals or wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialize only in short term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients. Others may specialize in the temporary or permanent care of residents who, as a result of a psychological disorder, require routine assistance, treatment, or a specialized and controlled environment. Patients are often admitted on a voluntary basis, but people whom psychiatrists believe may pose a significant danger to themselves or others may be subject to involuntary commitment. Psychiatric hospitals may also be referred to as psychiatric wards or units (or “psych” wards/units) when they are a subunit of a regular hospital.
Modern psychiatric hospitals evolved from and eventually replaced the older lunatic asylum. The treatment of inmates in early lunatic asylums was sometimes brutal and focused on containment and restraint. With successive waves of reform, and the introduction of effective evidence-based treatments, most modern psychiatric hospitals provide a primary emphasis on treatment, and attempt where possible to help patients control their own lives in the outside world, with the use of a combination of psychiatric drugs and psychotherapy. An exception is in Japan, where many psychiatric hospitals still use physical restraints on patients, tying them to their beds for days or even months at a time.
A crisis stabilization unit is in effect an emergency department for psychiatry, frequently dealing with suicidal, violent, or otherwise critical individuals. Open units are psychiatric units that are not as secure as crisis stabilization units. Another type of psychiatric hospital is medium term, which provides care lasting several weeks. In the United Kingdom, both crisis admissions and medium term care are usually provided on acute admissions wards. Juvenile or adolescent wards are sections of psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric wards set aside for children or adolescents with mental illness. Long-term care facilities have the goal of treatment and rehabilitation back into society within a short time-frame (two or three years). Another institution for the mentally ill is a community-based halfway house.
I would like to write more on this topic in the future.