The Parkside Mental Hospital was the new name given to the Parkside Lunatic Asylum in 1913. Run by the government, the Hospital housed people suffering from mental illness and with intellectual disabilities and medical conditions like epilepsy, including some children. In 1940 several children from Minda Home were transferred to the Hospital. Children with intellectual disabilities continued to be housed in wards with adult patients well into the 1960s. The Parkside Mental Hospital was renamed Glenside Hospital in 1967.
The Parkside Mental Hospital was the new name given to the Parkside Lunatic Asylum in 1913. The Asylum was initially not only used to incarcerate people suffering from mental illness, but also people with intellectual disabilities and medical conditions like epilepsy. Many children were amongst those incarcerated at the Hospital and for much of its existence no separate accommodations were available for them.
The operation of the Hospital was the responsibility of the Colonial Surgeon until 1914. In that year the former Colonial Surgeon, W.L. Cleland, became Superintendent of the Parkside Mental Hospital. Over-site of the Asylum came under the auspices of the newly created role of the Inspector General of Hospitals in 1914.
Parkside also received patients from interstate. Broken Hill, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, all sent patients to Parkside with their respective governments being billed for public patients.
Many children with intellectual disabilities were sent to Minda Home at Brighton, however, in 1940 Minda restricted its admission to children between the ages of 6 and 12 and no longer admitted children with profound disabilities. As a result, 26 Minda residents were transferred to the Parkside Mental Hospital. Additionally only young intellectually disabled people who were considered 'trainable' were admitted to Minda Home at that time. The superintendent at Parkside explained that the inability to obtain admission to Minda Home meant that children between the ages of 3 and 9 were having to be housed in wards at the Hospital with adult patients.
With the passing of the Mental Defectives Act 1935 the Minister was given the power to send any person, incarcerated in any government 'prison, gaol, reformatory, industrial school or other place of confinement', including state children, 'that appeared to be mentally defective' to the 'hospital for criminal mental defectives'. This meant that children with intellectual disabilities who were removed from government institutions were required to be detained in a special section of the Enfield Receiving House with adult prisoners.
By 1945 the Enfield Receiving House, the Northfield Mental Hospital and the Parkside Mental Hospital were the only State-run facilities that accommodated children with intellectual disabilities.
In 1948 about 42 children aged between 2 and 12 were living at the Parkside Mental Hospital.
Calls for the creation of specific institutions for State children with intellectual disabilities had appeared as early as the 1930s. 1952 saw a renewed push for the creation of such facilities. However, it was not until 1958 that Lochiel Park Boys' Training Centre was opened for boys with mild intellectual disabilities. Other State children with intellectual disabilities were either sent to Seaforth Home or ended up in the Parkside Mental Hospital.
In 1961 a report into State-run mental health services criticised the lumping together of the intellectually disabled with people suffering from mental illness, and the fact that young people continued to be housed with adult inmates at Parkside and at the Enfield Receiving House. The report included disturbing statistics on the make-up of the population of these institutions and the Northfield Mental Hospital. Of a total population of 2500 patients, more than 600 were intellectually disabled and, of these, 142 were aged under 12.
From 1962 the patients at Parkside and Northfield Hospitals were classified as having either a 'mental illness' or a 'mental disability'. Two years later the Mental Health Amendment Act 1964 defined two types of 'mental deficiency'. These were 'intellectual retardation' and 'mental illness'.
The Parkside Mental Hospital was renamed Glenside Hospital in 1967.
1870 - 1913 Parkside Lunatic Asylum
1913 - 1967 Parkside Mental Hospital
1967 - 2007 Glenside Hospital
2007 - Glenside Campus Mental Health Service of the Central Northern Adelaide Health Service
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Lunatic Asylum', in History of Disability in South Australia, Disability Information and Resource Centre Inc, 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20140213061049/http://history.dircsa.org.au/1800-1899/lunatic-asylum/; Goldney, Bob, Glenside Hospital: an historical perspective including its role in the management of depression, University of Adelaide, 26 February 2009; Mullighan, the Hon E.P., Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry: Allegations of sexual abuse and death from criminal conduct, presented to the South Australian Parliament by the Hon. E.P. Mullighan QC, Commisioner, Children in State Care Commission of Enquiry, Adelaide, South Australia, 2008, 564 pp, https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/107201/children-in-state-care-commission-of-inquiry-introducation.pdf; Piddock, Susan, A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania, Springer, New York; London, 2007; State Records of South Australia, 'Agency Details GA1980 Parkside Lunatic Asylum, later Parkside Mental Hospital, later Glenside Hospital', in State Records of South Australia, ArchivesSearch, http://archives.sa.gov.au.
Prepared by: Gary George
Created: 15 April 2014, Last modified: 6 November 2018