Missouri State Archives
Fulton State Hospital, 1851-2006
Richard Lael, Margot Ford McMillen, and Barbara Brazos
October 18, 2007
55 minutes 28 seconds (55:28)
Over one and a half centuries ago, at a time when mental health was barely understood, Fulton State Hospital was established as Missouri's first state mental asylum. As the first such institution west of the Mississippi, the hospital's history traces not only the history of the state, but also the evolution of mental health care in the nation. Co-authors Richard Lael, Barbara Brazos, and Margot Ford McMillen address the institution's problems of overcrowding, financial mismanagement, racism, and wrongful confinement, along with its successes in new treatments involving psychotherapy and drugs. Their book offers an insightful exploration of the difficulties the state institution faced as it transformed to meet the demands of Missouri's mentally ill.