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posted on July 07, 2011 12:00

State Hospital South, one of Idaho’s two mental health hospitals, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this month and is inviting the public to an open house Thursday, July 7, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The open house will feature walking tours of the hospital’s historic campus and a slide show with historic pictures as well as other opportunities to learn more about the hospital’s history and the important role it plays in Idaho’s health care system.

Founded in 1886, the hospital now provides psychiatric inpatient treatment and skilled nursing care for Idaho’s adult and adolescent citizens with the most serious and persistent mental illnesses.

The hospital works in partnership with families and communities to enable clients to return to community living. It includes 90 psychiatric adult beds, 29 skilled nursing beds, and 16 beds for adolescents and maintains a statewide program to restore competency of criminal justice patients.

In its 125 years, the hospital’s footprint in Blackfoot and its mission has undergone changes in response to the mental health needs of Idahoans. In its earliest days, patients helped build the first buildings on campus. They were often committed for life and spent time working on the farm at the hospital and preparing their own food.

Today, treatment is provided by a team of licensed physicians, psychologists, and other trained healthcare professionals. The hospital’s patients participate in individual and group psychotherapy, social interventions, recreational therapy and other outcomes-based treatment to help them recover and return to the community.

 “The work we do at State Hospital South often goes on unseen by the public,” says SHS Administrator Tracey Sessions. “This is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the hospital and its unique role in Idaho’s health care history. We hope community members will join us in celebrating this landmark anniversary.”

The hospital is located at 700 East Alice in Blackfoot. Refreshments will be served at the Open House. For more information about the hospital, click here.