Colorado State Hospital

Decentralization, 1962

    Legislation from the state in early 1962 drastically changed the character of the hospital.  Up to this point the hospital was the "Colorado State Hospital" which meant it was the only state funded mental health institution and took in patients from all of Colorado. This presented some unique challenges for both patients and their families. Authorities began to realize that the isolation and change that affected some patients from the states furthest reaches was detrimental to their mental health. The Decentralization efforts of 1962 were designed to alleviate these pains on families and create a healthier environment for the mentally ill.
     The plan geographically divided Colorado into six zones of relatively equal population. A hospital was established to care for them in each of these zones. The exodus of patients from the hospital began in the first few days of 1962; by March, over 200 patients were relocated to their respective geographic zones. The changes brought about by the decentralization allowed the hospital to reorganize itself to better care for their patients. This type of plan had been carried out successfully within other hospitals across America and resulted in more personalized and individual care for the mentally ill. 

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