2019 WCC

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Extreme History Project Lecture - Warm Springs are for Healing

MOR is pleased to host the Extreme History Project lecture series that encourages public understanding of the way our history has shaped our present. Lesley M. Gilmore will take a fresh look at interesting historical topics.

Since its establishment in 1875, the campus at Warm Springs has been put to use towards the palliative treatment of Montanans. The supervisors transformed what had been a health resort into a hospital dedicated to the care of the “mentally deficient wards” of the state. The changes to the campus reflect the changing trends in mental health care over the years. This was evident in the type, style, and size of buildings. The buildings were like those of many other state institutions – colleges, universities, etc. – and designed by many of the same architects. Warm Springs was, however, more comprehensive in that it also was self-sufficient for much of its history, with manufacturing and farming considered part of the care for the insane. The Warm Springs hospital still focuses – in a reduced capacity since distributed clinical care was instituted in the 1960s – on individualized recovery programs to help patients transition back into to the community. The hospital has served the state for over 140 years and remains the only public psychiatric hospital in the state.