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Agency VA 2846
Mont Park (Hospital for the Insane 1912-1934; Mental Hospital 1934-c.1970's; Mental/Psychiatric Hospital c.1970's-ct)
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Date Range: 1912 - cont
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Establishment and Development of Services

Mont Park Hospital for the Insane was opened in April 1912. Its proclamation as a Hospital for the Insane was published in the Government Gazette on the 23 October 1912.

Since its establishment the title of the institution at Mont Park has been altered to reflect both the community's changing attitude towards mental illness and the Victorian Government's approach to the treatment of mentally disturbed persons. Despite the changes in designation the function and structure of the agency has not altered significantly, therefore the institution has been registered as one continuous agency. The Mental Hygiene Act 1933 (No.1873) altered the title of all "hospitals for the insane" to "mental hospitals".

A hospital for the insane/mental hospital was any public building proclaimed by the Governor-in-Council and published in the Government Gazette as a place for the reception of lunatics. A hospital for the insane could also provide wards for the temporary reception of patients as well as long term patients. Until the Mental Health Act 1959 (No.6605) came into operation in 1962 these "short term" wards were known as " receiving houses". The Mental Health Act 1959 designated hospitals providing short term diagnosis and accommodation as "psychiatric hospitals". Any institution could have a section designated as a mental hospital for long-term or indefinite hospitalisation and a section designated as a psychiatric hospital for short-term diagnosis and treatment of acute psychiatric illness. Any such designation of particular wards are published in the Government Gazette. Hence some sections at Mont Park are designated as a mental hospital and some sections as a psychiatric hospital.

Patients could not be detained in a hospital for the insane without a warrant requesting their admission. Prior to 1934 the Chief Secretary (VRG 26) was responsible for this function. From 1934 the Director of Mental Hygiene (VA 2865) and from 1952 the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Hygiene Branch (VA 2866) were successively responsible for admission of patients. The Lunacy Act 1914 made provision for the admission of patients on a voluntary basis, that is, on a patient's own request for a specified period of time.

In 1915 a ward at Mont Park was taken over as a Convalescent Military Hospital. An agreement was made with the Defence Department for the latter to erect the Mont Park central block for use as a Military Hospital. This hospital was generally referred to as the Military Mental Hospital. It was also variously known as the Military Mental Block. Apparently ex-military personnel with chronic psychiatric illness were housed there.

There was also a hospital variously known as the Bundoora Farm or Homestead or the Repatriation Mental Hospital built on or near the current site of the Bundoora Repatriation Hospital. This agency was established in the 1920's to accommodate ex-military personnel suffering from psychiatric illness who were considered to be the better conducted cases. Close ties were apparently kept between this establishment and the military section of Mont Park Hospital for the Insane, as some records in the custody of the Public Record Office have both Mont Park and Bundoora as the recording agencies.

The military block at Mont Park was closed in 1924 and handed back to the State for civilian mental cases.

Location of Records

Some clinical and administrative records are in the custody of the Public Record Office. See below.

 
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    PROVguide059 Mental Health Records
Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
1912 - ? 1913 Night Report Book VPRS 7444 North Melbourne Open
1912 - 1924 Nominal Register of Patients VPRS 7424 North Melbourne Open
1914 - 1935 Trial Leave Registers, Military Mental Hospital Annual Examination Register VPRS 7453 North Melbourne Open
1932 - ? 1965 Annual and Quinquennial Examination of Patients Registers VPRS 7413 North Melbourne Closed
1944 - ? 1969 Head Nurse's Daily Report Books - Female Department VPRS 7443 North Melbourne Closed
By 1905 - ? 1950 Restraint and Seclusion Registers VPRS 7474 North Melbourne Part Open
By 1912 - ? 1939 Inward Correspondence Registers VPRS 7554 North Melbourne Open
By 1918 - ? 1931 Correspondence Files VPRS 7532 North Melbourne Open
By 1920 - ? 1966 Trial Leave Registers VPRS 7450 North Melbourne Closed
By 1922 - ? 1934 Outward Letter Books VPRS 7472 North Melbourne Open
By 1924 - ? 1929 Military Mental Hospital Correspondence Files VPRS 7527 North Melbourne Open
By 1925 - ? 1964 Post Mortem Register VPRS 7434 North Melbourne Part Open
By 1936 - ? 1936 Discharge Warrants VPRS 7569 North Melbourne Open
By 1941 - ? 1952 Restraint and Seclusion Registers VPRS 7473 North Melbourne Closed
Circa 1917 - Circa 1922 Monthly Admission and Discharge Register VPRS 7511 North Melbourne Open
Circa 1928 - Circa 1962 Register of Voluntary Boarders VPRS 7517 North Melbourne Closed
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1912 - cont Health, mental VF 128
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1912 - 1934 Lunacy Department (located in Chief Secretary's Department) VA 2864
1934 - 1944 Department of Mental Hygiene (located in Chief Secretary's Department VA 475) VA 2865
1944 - 1978 Mental Hygiene Branch, Department of Health I VA 2866
Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
Related AgenciesRelated Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
Groups containing this AgencyGroups containing this Agency
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Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1912 - cont Health and Welfare Agencies VRG 8
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