McLean Hospital

From Academic Kids

McLean Hospital is a psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts noted in part for the large number of famous people who have been treated there, including mathematician John Nash, poets Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath and singer-songwriter James Taylor.

McLean Hospital maintains the world's largest psychiatric research program in a private hospital. It is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School and an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

An interesting book on the history of McLean is Alex Beam's Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital (ISBN 1891620754); some memoirs of time spent within McLean's walls include Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar and Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted (ISBN 0679746048), which was made into a movie starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie.

The grounds of McLean Hospital were originally laid out by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, who was eventually a resident at the hospital for some time. The grounds of the hospital, sold off by the hospital's owner Partners Health Care, became the root of a divisive and somewhat baroque political debate in the town of Belmont during the late 1990s; ultimately a plan to preserve some of Law's original open space combined with mixed residential and commercial development prevailed over a plan to create high-end residential development only, but due to factors including but not limited to extended legal wrangling over various procedural issues, development has yet to commence as of 2005.

McLean Hospital maintains a 24-hours-per-day, 7-days-per-week crisis hotline. The number is (800)333-0338.

Resources

(800)333-0338: McLean's 24/7 crisis hotline

McLean Hospital Website (http://www.mclean.org)

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