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Headstones Placed at Idaho’s State Hospital South Cemetery

flickr.com, Svadifari

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (AP) — An effort to place headstones on the graves of former patients at State Hospital South in southeastern Idaho is moving forward with another 120 set in the cemetery that holds more than 1,000 people. The Idaho State Journal reports that hospital staff, residents and others on Tuesday took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the State Hospital South Cemetery.

The 127-year-old hospital previously called the Idaho Insane Asylum once housed patients for years, or until they died. Some of the patients underwent lobotomies and other early procedures as doctors tried to find ways to help sufferers of mental illness.

Hospital Administrator Tracey Sessions says placing headstones is a way to offer respect and dignity for those afflicted with illnesses that were poorly understood at the time. About 860 graves await headstones.

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