|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
St. Helens/Pleasant View was originally established as a licensed house in 1916, then became a receiving house in 1953, a Psychiatric Hospital in 1962 and finally a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre from 1973. It was located in Preston.
Under the provisions of the Lunacy Act 1903 (No.1873) a Licensed House was defined as an institution which held a licence granted by the Chief Secretary (VRG 26) to house one or more insane persons. To obtain a licence it was necessary to pay an annual fee and meet conditions prescribed by the Governor-in-Council.
The licensee of the institution was also the superintendent. Licensed Houses were subject to much the same requirements in terms of patient care and record keeping as the hospitals for the insane. Often the license specified the sex and maximum number of patients it was allowed to receive.
Houses accommodating over fifty patients were required to have a resident medical practitioner. Those accommodating between twenty-five and fifty patients were to be visited daily by a medical practitioner. Every other licensed house was to be visited twice a week by a medical practitioner.
St. Helens Licensed House was situated in Wood Street, Preston; part of its western border was situated on Gordon Grove. Its licence was first issued in 1916. In 1928 its name was changed to Pleasant View. On 29th June 1953, the institution was taken over by the Victorian Government and became a Receiving House (Victoria Gazette, No. 524, July 1, 1953, page 3186). It housed acute short-term psychiatric patients.
Under the Mental Health Act 1959, which was brought into operation on 1st November 1962, the facility changed its name from Pleasant View Receiving House to Pleasant View Psychiatric Hospital. Pleasant View's function as a mental health facility was discontinued in March 1973.
The institution was later an "assessment centre for the reception and classification of alcoholics and drug-dependent persons" (Victoria Government Gazette, No. 107, Wednesday November 6, 1974) and was known as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, from 1973, until the institution closed in 1995.
It was an assessment centre under the Alcoholics and Drug Dependant Persons Act (1968). The Mental Health Authority Annual Report, for year ended 31/12/1973 (page 8) reported that "... in May, 1973, outpatient facilities were at Pleasant View (Assessment Centre) and Day Hospital facilities commenced operation in August. Later in the year patient accommodation ... was increased to ... two in-patient units of 30 and 14 beds respectively ... at Pleasant View."
Sometime after Pleasant View closed in 1995, the facility became the Northern Community Care Unit, for services including psychiatric residential rehabilitation and community care.
NOTE: All of the early patient records include both the Sunnyside Licensed House located in Camberwell (1905-1916), and St Helen's / Pleasant View Licensed House (1916-1953) in Preston.
Sunnyside was licensed until 1916 and St Helen's commencement coincides with the time that Sunnyside ceased to be licensed. For reasons that have not been determined, the records relate to patients that were in care before and later than 1916.