About Friends Hospital
Friends Hospital has been providing psychiatric treatment to adolescents, adults and seniors for centuries, making it the oldest private psychiatric hospital in the nation. In 1813, the Quakers founded Friends Hospital based on the belief that all people, even those with a mental illness, can live a “moral, ordered existence if treated with kindness, dignity and respect.”
The main focus of “moral treatment” was to strengthen the mental wellness of each patient. Treatment concentrated on strengthening mental health instead of curing mental illness. This was a departure from the accepted view of the time and the guiding principle on which all of the hospital’s procedures were based.
Today, Friends Hospital still operates under this original mission and—using the modern principles of wellness and recovery—strives to provide patients with the tools they need to understand and manage their symptoms. Starting with a thorough evaluation, an individualized treatment plan is developed to help stabilize acute psychiatric symptoms.
This plan provides the foundation for an aftercare plan that supports the patient’s return to the community. Helping patients gain and maintain a sense of balance and accomplishment is an important step on the pathway to wellness and recovery.
Still a rural oasis in an urban setting, Friends Hospital continues to be a mental health advocate for the community. The original “moral treatment” tenets of non-judgmental acceptance, individual responsibility, evidence-based treatment modalities and gentle support remain its guiding principles.
“To provide for the suitable accommodation of persons who are or may be deprived of the use of their reason and the maintenance of an asylum for their reception, which is intended to furnish, besides requisite medical aid, such tender, sympathetic attention as may soothe their agitated minds, and under the Divine Blessing, facilitate their recovery.”
– Friends Hospital Mission Statement, 1813
To achieve this long-standing mission, we make all decisions and take all actions based on these basic values:
- Approach each person, regardless of the degree of illness, with the belief that he or she is a unique and worthy individual who deserves treatment that is highly individualized and compassionate.
- Be responsive to patients, families and communities.
- Hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and integrity.