NH DHHS - NHH Celebrates 170 Years of History

Concord, NH – This month, New Hampshire Hospital (NHH) commemorates its 170

year history of caring for the mentally ill in New Hampshire. NHH will

mark the anniversary on October 29th, which is the day in 1842 that the

Hospital opened its doors to its first patient.

When NHH first opened, it was called the New Hampshire Asylum for the

Insane, and was the 17th such hospital in the United States, and the 7th in

New England. According to an entry in the first Annual Report, the first

patient was a “violent and noisy” gentleman from Tuftonboro. He remained

at the Asylum for just over two months, and was discharged in early January

as “improved.”

The celebration of its history will be marked with historical remembrances,

and with recognition for the many thousands of patients and staff who have

become part of the Hospital’s tradition of outstanding care. This will

also be an opportunity to show appreciation to state and local officials

who have helped make NHH what it is today. NHH will be celebrating this

milestone with the current community mental health centers that together

with NHH make up today’s system of care for those with mental illness.

“The last 170 years have brought a great number of changes in the

understanding and treatment of mental illness,” said DHHS Commissioner

Nicholas Toumpas. “However, there are two challenges that remain as great

today as they were in 1842; those are the deep and dire needs of those

afflicted with mental illness, and the attempts of a caring community to

meet those urgent needs with kindness and compassion.”

NHH is a state operated facility that provides comprehensive inpatient

psychiatric services to people in need in New Hampshire. To read more

about NHH history visit www.dhhs.nh.gov