Brattleboro Retreat is a not-for-profit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center located in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The facility was patterned on a Quaker concept – “moral treatment" - which was a bold departure in the care for the mentally ill. Patients were treated “with dignity and respect in a caring, family-like environment that included meaningful work, cultural pursuits, wholesome nutrition and daily exercise."
The Vermont retreat was also responsible for a number of mental hospital firsts: the first gymnasium, the first attendant's training course, the first patient newspaper, camping programs, swimming pools, bowling alley, and the first self-sufficient dairy farm.
The retreat is significant as one of the original psychiatric hospitals in the United States and the first in Vermont. It is nationally recognized for its premiere treatment in behavioral healthcare.
Established in 1834, the retreat is set on a 1,000-acre piece of property amidst serene and scenic landscaped grounds, open meadows, woods and fields. The land was received as a bequest from Anna Marsh - widow of physician Perley Marsh and namesake of the Anna Marsh Behavioral Care Outpatient Clinic.
Among the 58 buildings and sites in the compound, 38 of them are historic structures that date from 1838 to 1938. The building styles range from Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate and Colonial Revival, to suburban residential.
The complex encompasses large-scaled brick buildings for patient accommodations and therapy, ancillary cottages, residences, spring house, tower, and farm buildings. The architecture and setting of the present complex respond to the needs, and mirrors the precepts of moral treatment.
Brattleboro Retreat, now known as Retreat Healthcare, offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, and outpatient treatment.
Affect management program, chemical dependency/dual diagnoses, residential care for adolescents, treatment compliance, and older adult services are also provided by Retreat Healthcare.
In addition to its hospital services for children and adolescents and adults, Retreat Healthcare offers the Meadows Educational Center, the Tower Program, the Abigail Rockwell Residential Center, and the Mulberry Bush Early Learning Center.
The Healthcare conducts an extensive continuing education program for mental health professionals. It also arranges numerous programs such as events and lectures to the community, free of charge.
Retreat Healthcare is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and is a member of the Ivy League Hospitals network. In addition, the healthcare is certified and licensed by numerous state and national organizations.