Athens Mental Health Center Policies
The Athens Mental Health Center records collection includes commitment papers, referred to at the time of creation as “Inquest of Lunacy” records, for both male and female patients who entered the Athens Lunatic Asylum (later Athens Mental Health Center) between 1874 and 1911. We do not have all of the records from this time period. In some cases the Mahn Center has access to only the patient number and county from which the patient was admitted.
Personally identifiable health information, including full names of patients, remains confidential under both state and federal law for fifty years following the patient’s death. Due to these legal restrictions, the procedure for accessing these records differs based on their creation date.
All requests should start by submitting a Mahn Center Research and Scan Request form, but you may need to supply additional information to gain lawful access.
Records created more than 132 years ago are open for research.
Records created less than 132 years ago can only be viewed by the patient’s closest living relative, or if the requester can provide documentation that the patient has been deceased for over 50 years.
- If you would like to request a closed record as the closest living relative of a patient, we will ask you to complete a Mental Health Records Request Form
- If you would like to request records using documentation of the patient’s death date, we will ask you to supply one of the following as proof of death date:
- a copy of the patient’s death certificate or death record
- a listing of the patient in the grave directory for individuals buried on the ridges.
The location of patient records outside of the 1872-1911 time period is unknown. Other repositories with holdings relating to the Athens Mental Health Center are the Ohio History Connection and the Southeast Ohio History Center.