Lviv Regional Psychiatric Hospital

Alexander Filts


Before the 18th century, there was no psychiatric care for the population of Galychyna. Part of mental patients lived in monasteries, part of them was kept into the penitentiary institutions, but the major part remained in general population. First insane asylum in Galychyna was organized at the times of Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1790 as the department for mental patients in Lviv Krayovy Hospital at Piyariv Street. At the beginning this department was mixed for both male and female patients, and only in 1870 it was divided into two parts: male patients were separated from females.
On May 15, 1875 these departments were transferred to the newly built houses, situated in Kulparkiv suburb of Lviv, and specially constructed for needs of mental patients. The status of Kulparkiv Institution for Mental Patients was adopted on May 25, 1875, and from January 1, 1876 this institution was reorganized into an independent structure. In 1876-80 it also had two branches: one for female patients in Peremyshl and another one - for male patients in Zhovkva. At the beginning hospital provided only board and general care for patients. Later, under the Polish rule (1918-1939), active treatment of patients began to play more important role. Number of beds in the hospital increased rapidly: from 345 to 1100 by 1907 and to 2300 in 1980.
Before World War I such people as Gustav Neiser (came to Lviv from Krakow), Vladyslav Colberger (originated from Peremyshlyany in Lviv region) and Vladyslav Sohatski (who elaborated instructions for personnel) made great contribution to setting up and growing of the hospital. The reunification of Ukrainian lands in 1939-40 marked a new stage in the development of the hospital, but the hard times of World War II slowed this progress. Many patients died of infectious diseases, cold, and starvation, part of the property was lost and the buildings were partially ruined. During World War II, many patients from Germany sought shelter in Lviv, which is recorded in the hospital’s archives.
After the end of the war, these buildings were reconstructed, and new changes took place: workshops complex was built, many problems concerning equipping mental departments of the hospital with necessary services and utilities were solved. Qualified specialists came to work in the hospital, in-patient system of psychiatric care was specialized and extended, and great efforts were made to improve the methods of diagnostics and treatment. In the post-war period hospital did a lot in organizing of the psychiatric service in cities and districts of Lviv region and in nearby regions.
Nowadays, the hospital contains 1735 beds in 20 departments. The major part of the departments is specialized: for children, adolescents, gerontological patients, for patients with tuberculosis, infectious diseases; there are also forensic and intensive care units. There are special wards for the patients with epilepsy (male and female).
Two departments of the hospital are diagnostic and, also there are two Departments of Lviv Medical University. The first one is the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for Advanced Postgraduate Training. The main directions of scientific activities are: psychotherapeutic work and psychological help, psychopharmacotherapy of major psychoses and affective disorders, clinical investigations in the field of psychopathology, rehabilitation and art therapy, alcohol and drug dependence, researches concerning new psychotropic drugs.
Over the last seven years, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Lviv Medical University, is involved in the following activities:
1. In clinical psychiatry, the problems of prediction in schizophrenia, affective disorders, and suicides are studied.
2. In the field of addiction treatment, a specific medication with a know-how technology has been synthesized. It contains dysulfiram as an active ingredient, and has a prolonged effect. The studies of anti-abuse and anti-anxiety effects of the drug. Today, the results of the preliminary double-blind study of 15 patients are available. It has been discovered that the drug has a mild anti-anxiety effect and decreases the cognitive and affective tension to caused by abuse-topic in the period of abstinence. Besides, the medication significantly improves the possibilities of psychotherapeutical correction.
3. In the field of psychotherapy, our Department, in collaboration with Ukrainian Umbrella Association of Psychotherapists conducts a continuous international project, in which more than 170 participants from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus are educated in group psychoanalysis, client-centered psychotherapy, systemic family therapy, psychodrama, gestalt-therapy.
4. A pilote project on rehabilitation of the chronically mentally ill is launched jointly with our Italian colleagues.

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