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Weyburn Mental Hospital
Soo Line Historical Museum
Weyburn , Saskatchewan


   When the doors to the
Weyburn Mental Hospital
opened on December 29th,
1921, the facility had a
capacity of 900 patients, 60
nurses and 60 attendants. A
few years later, the addition
of a second wing made room
for 3,000 patients and staff,
but the hospital was nearly

always over capacity. WMH was
not only one of the largest
facilities of its kind in the
country, it soon developed a
reputation for cutting edge
treatments and psychiatric
drug research.
   The history of the
Weyburn Mental Hospital dates
back to 1879, after a massive

migration of settlers to the
west stirred the federal
government to pass
legislation “regarding the
safe keeping of dangerous
lunatics in the Northwest
Territories.” Saskatchewan
joined the Dominion of Canada
in 1905, and within 20 years
had begun to build such

institutions, first in North
Battleford, then in Weyburn.
   The WMH used many
standard psychiatric
treatments such as insulin
therapy, hydrotherapy,
lobotomy and electroshock
therapy. However, the
hospital was on the cutting

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