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The Danvers State Memorial Committee

Who We Are

The Danvers State Memorial Committee is a grassroots organization comprised of over 60 ex-patients and our allies. Many of us are former patients of Danvers State Hospital. Our goal is to insure that the cemeteries at Danvers State Hospital - and at state institutions across Massachusetts - are restored and properly memorialized. We believe that those buried in state hospital cemeteries are, above all, people. Many were forsaken in life. We will not forget them in death.

Although our work began at a local level, there are now groups forming all across Massachusetts to work toward the restoration and proper memorialization of cemeteries at state institutions - both open and closed. Our work has also inspired ex-patient organizations in 17 other states to get involved in restoring and properly memorializing state hospital cemeteries. There are groups working in the following states: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Arizona, Washington, South Dakota, and California.

The work of the Danvers State Memorial Committee has been featured in national, regional and local media. Examples include articles about our work in U.S. News and World Report, The Boston Sunday Globe, Psychiatric News, Mental Health Weekly, Channel 5 News, Fox TV News, NECN News, Chronicle, National Public Radio, WBZ radio, and local papers such as the Salem Evening News, the Danvers Herald, and the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune.

We began our work as a group of ex-patients armed only with our conviction that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must restore and properly memorialize state hospital cemeteries as a sign of respect for all people diagnosed with mental illness - those who have passed-on, those living today and for those who will come after us. Since our beginning in February of 1998, we have successfully applied for small grants through the Office of Consumer and Ex-patient Relations at DMH. We have received generous donations from the 1st Church of Wenham and anonymous donors. Many friends and allies have stepped up to support our rallies and attend our events. We thank all of those who have supported our work and invite all to share in the joy of this noble campaign.





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