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Reuse of State Hospital Property, 1970-1985
Lawrence W. Dolan
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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Rutgers-Princeton program in mental health research

American Psychiatric Association

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The results of the property reuse questionnaire demonstrate that surplus state hospital property has been put to a wide variety of uses by many types of organizations. The scope of the reuse activities has been particularly significant. One might have expected that the stigma of mental illness would have limited the types of reuse activities to those related to corrections and to the provision of mental health services. However, the large number of reuse activities associated with education, office space, recreation, and housing uncovered by the survey indicate that state psychiatric hospital property offers a wide range of opportunities for reuse.The findings from the survey thus suggest that it may be possible to more fully exploit the surplus property belonging to state psychiatric hospitals. Conceivably property reuse may represent a significant untapped resource for financing hospital budgets and other mental health activities. Many questions about reuse of state hospital property, however, still need to be answered. Additional research is needed on the types of hospitals that have engaged in property reuse, the factors that have encouraged reuse, and the extent to which the hospitals' patients, employees, and administrators have benefited from the reuse of the hospitals' property.

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