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psychiatrisch centrum, belgium, urbex, abandoned
Psychiatrisch Centrum

Visited with Ninja Kitten, we eventually found the building inside the forest just away from the main complex which is still operational. This particular building has been closed for quite some time and has begun to decay in parts especially the peeling wallpaper upstairs. Quite a lot of things are still left inside the building including patient notes and personal possessions of the former patients. 


I cant find specific history for this building alone but have managed to find some of the whole complex albeit I have taken out the exact location where possible to protect its identity. . The English maybe a bit haphazard as I've translated a Belgian text into English via Google translate which always throws up some perculiarities! It is a good insight into how mental health care has evolved in Belgium however and their current practices on the patients ongoing treatment.



An institution with history. In 1807 Ghent was the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity founded by the priest P.J. Sad. Inspired by the St. Vincent de Paul, who had special attention to the poor, developed the Brothers of Charity initiatives in education, mental health and disabled. In the course of the 19th century, both in Belgium and Aaroad founded many psychiatric institutions.


Founded in 1932, the Congregation counted the Brothers of Charity in Belgium 9 settings for patients with mental illness.
Around 1920 there was a shortage of Brabant psychiatric facilities that focused on needy male patients. The existing psychiatric institutions and facilities were mainly focused on paying patients or in female patients.
The question of the Catholic University of Leuven was a second important factor. The correspondence between the Rector of the K.U. Leuven, Mgr. Ladeuze, and then Superior General of the Brothers of Charity, Father Philemon shows that the rector strongly insisted on building a "lunatic asylum for needy men" as complement existing psychiatric institution Women in Love Joel. After World War I was a extension of the Faculty of Medicine necessary for the to training of medical specialists in psychiatry insure against the competition of the liberal University of Brussels.

In 1927 began Father Philemon, assisted by Mgr. Ladeuze, searching for a suitable site. Because this did not go smoothly, the Congregation received more eye for the region.  In 1928 the rector saw an opportunity through a farm and wo months later bought the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity on the farm. On August 3, 1928 was granted official permission to build an institution for more than 800 patients. The site was what country, according to the then insights, positive effect on the physical and psychological condition of the patients would have.


In 1929 began the construction of the complex, consisting of a symmetrical complex of buildings and pavilions, all with virtually
uniform floor plan.  On June 24, 1932 it was put into use. As superior was Father Cataldus appointed. The first mass was commissioned on July 4, the day also were due to the first hospital. The population grew  up to 349 patients in the end 1932 Twenty-two brothers and eighteen lay nurses were responsible for their care. In subsequent years, increased the setting itself more and more, so that they even had to deal with lack of space. During the war years, when institutions of the Brothers in the Netherlands institution had been evacuated even as more than 1,000 patients.
From 1950, in collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven started with the training of medical specialists led by Professor A. Dewulf.


On June 24, 1957, twenty years after its foundation, the institution offered shelter to 833 ill. In 1963 the law on hospitals was announced. The consequence of this was i.a. the first department was opened voluntarily hospitalised patients. In 1969 started a rehabilitation centre that would be an important part play in the rehabilitation of patients and the interdisciplinary composition from the staff.


The real breakthrough came as a dynamic contemporary psychiatric hospital in the 70s. The number dropped forcibly hospitalised patients;
voluntary admissions were strongly encouraged and the number of employees increasing. Numerous patients who stayed for long periods in the institution were fired to become.

In 1973, a new organisational structure was implemented. The patient care was based on an operation according to target groups. In 1990, mental health was significantly restructured. there alternatives were created for a hospital stay. They responded by developing a psychiatric nursing home for people with mental illness problems which need a long-term residential support. In addition, in co-operation with the C.G.G. Flemish Brabant East the v.z.w. Walden founded an initiative for sheltered housing. In this period, the setting a pioneering role in the development of employment counseling for people with psychiatric problems.

From 2001, funded the federal government Specific initiatives called medium security patients. This had result in the period 2001-2010 a completely distinct supply ongoing of hospital treatment, stay in a psychiatric nursing and a outreach team for this group was expanded. Also for other target i.a. for the care of people with Huntington's disease.

The concern was further developed through the allocation of additional resources. Min signed on October 5, 2010. G. Bourgeois a ministerial decree whereby part of the institution as a monument was recognised. More concrete the centre were (including farm), the former laundry building Saint Joseph Cemetery, protected the military hospital and chaplain home. The decision opened after a period of uncertainty, again perspectives for further functioning of the institution on the current site. Today it performs a major role in the dynamic  landscape of mental healthcare. For example, actively participated in the movement in the context of art. 107 with i.a. outfitting of hospital beds.

The further development of care programs and forms of care for specific groups and developing care circuits within a modern infrastructure within the mission of the Brothers of Charity are the challenges for the coming years.



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