Bryce Hospital Tuscaloosa

Alabama Department of Archives and History

The University of Alabama is renovating a building that helped to modernize the treatment of mental illness in the U.S. following the Civil War. Old Bryce Hospital sits on the Tuscaloosa campus. It was the first asylum to unshackle its patients and ban the use of straitjackets. There’s another innovation that’s less known. Old Bryce Hospital used to print its own newspapers and historians believe many of the stories were written by the patients. APR’s Stan Ingold brings us the story of the Meteor…

Alabama's new psychiatric hospital is expected to open in December. reports ( that the new facility will replace the old Bryce Hospital, and will also be located in Tuscaloosa like the original Bryce.

   Officials say the new hospital will feature an area designers call a "recovery mall" that includes a chapel, library and canteen. The idea is to allow patients to experience everyday activities in a facility that doesn't feel like a hospital.