A look back at Mayview State Hospital

Pittsburgh region's mental health system under siege

Pittsburgh region's mental health system under siege

Those dealing with tough mental illnesses had to shift into a fragile network of community care -- and have suffered grave consequences.

Then and now: History of Mayview State Hospital

Take a look through the photos to explore the history of Mayview State Hospital in South Fayette.

Not all Mayview patients have fit well in community

The rocky outcomes raise questions about the outpatient system's ability to deal with the severely ill, especially those who are violent.

Hospitals struggling with mental-health caseloads

Community hospitals across the Pittsburgh region are trying to serve an influx of patients with severe and chronic mental illness.

Police, courts grapple with the right approach to offenders

Creative, case-by-case approaches must be taken with defendants who have serious illnesses.

Need for housing presents serious challenge

The mental-health system can't meet the demand for safe, affordable housing, and clients' behavioral problems can make them unwanted tenants.

Better science one key to better care

Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is calling for improvements as more people are seeking treatment.

More Coverage

Mental health training urged for police, district judges in Pa.

The state House has passed a bill seen as first step in sending fewer mentally ill offenders to prison.

About the Series
The approaching five-year anniversary of Mayview State Hospital's closure provided a jumping-off point for an examination of mental-health services in the five counties - Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Lawrence and Washington - served by the hospital. Reporter Joe Smydo interviewed former Mayview patients who agreed to talk about how their lives had changed. He also interviewed dozens of mental-health professionals, hospital administrators and law-enforcement officials about the impact that the hospital's closing and state budget cuts have had on their work. The seven-month project yielded a portrait of a mental-health delivery system strained by budget cuts and debates over treatment philosophy. Some believe that there's still a need for Mayview.
About the Author
Joe Smydo joined the Post-Gazette's enterprise team in January. He previously worked in the newspaper's Washington County bureau and later covered the Pittsburgh Public Schools and Pittsburgh city government. You can contact Mr. Smydo at jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.