The Gardens at Saint Elizabeths is a national memorial to remember once forgotten psychiatric patients. In addition to remembrance, it will also be a place of recovery offering dignity and hope to anyone living with mental illness. The memorial, which was proposed in 2004, will include metal markers from all 50 states listing the number of patients interred and at which institutions, as well as gardens and a reflecting pool. It is being designed by the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design, and will be incorporated into the existing 10-acre cemetery adjacent to the new hospital.
Saint Elizabeths, which opened in 1855, was the first federally funded asylum. On June 10, 2009, a dedication for the memorial was celebrated at Saint Elizabeths in Washington, D.C. Saint Elizabeths has begun preparing the cemetery, which holds the graves of more than 4,500 psychiatric patients, including Civil War veterans.