• Organisation

Ipswich Mental Hospital


The Ipswich Mental Hospital was previously known as the Ipswich Hospital for the Insane.

In 1940 an extra wing was added to the building that accommodated mentally handicapped children. It became known as Dagmar House.

[Taken from ‘Ipswich Mental Hospital (1938-1964)’: UQ Ipswich Campus Progression of an Institution]

Dr Basil Stafford was Superintendent at Ipswich Mental Hospital. Through his observation of mental hygiene practices overseas, he advocated for modern drug therapy to replace custodial methods of treatment of patients. He also recommended a better classification of patients in mental institutions. His report led to the introduction in parliament of The Mental Hygiene Act of 1938. The Act was aimed at reducing the stigma attached to mental illness.

At the same time, The Backward Person’s Act of 1938, which provided for improved care and education of mentally deficient people, was introduced. Stafford moved on to become Director of Mental Hygiene. Dr William Parker served as Superintendent of Ipswich Mental Hospital from 1938 to 1953.

  • From


  • To



  • 1938 - 1964

    The Ipswich Mental Hospital was situated at Slaisbury Road, Ipswich, Queensland (Building Still standing)


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