HKFP Lens HKFP Venture Urban Exploring

HKFP Lens: Exploring Hong Kong’s abandoned psychiatric hospital

by HKURBEX.

Last summer, a team from HK URBEX visited the recently abandoned Siu Lam Hospital in Tuen Mun.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Built in 1972, the derelict hospital specialised in mental health and physiotherapy treatment.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

As it was designed in the 60s, many of the buildings in the compound had poor infrastructure.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Leaky roofs often led to infection control issues.
A Human Rights Watch report in the 90s criticised staffing levels and its problematic status as both a prison and mental institution.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Being a correctional facility it had a focus on security, which was to the detriment of regular patients.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

It was also found that at least 90% of prisoners were on regular, often very high, doses of oral sedatives, administered to keep them in a constant state of drowsiness.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Some patients were given more than double the normal dose.

abandoned mental hospital

Excessive doping helped over-worked staff cope with the large number of violent and mentally disturbed patients.

abandoned mental hospital

However, it was found that the drugs led to dependence problems, thereby leading to more violence.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Like many other similar institutions in Hong Kong, Siu Lam had padded cells (or ‘protected rooms’) for unmanageable or violent patients.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

Not all inmates were mentally disturbed – a security unit was designed for prisoners who have testified for the prosecution in criminal cases.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

In its heyday, Siu Lam psychiatric hospital was home to 270 inmates, 95% of whom required treatment because they suffered from paranoia or other psychiatric disorders.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

In 2012, the hospital moved its premises to Castle Peak and this particular facility has remained dormant since.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

After only two years, nature already began to digest the abandoned site.

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

abandoned mental hospital

by HKURBEX – Visual creators and storytellers on a mission to unearth Hong Kong’s derelict abandoned sites. 

HKFP Writer

HKURBEX

HKURBEX

HK Urbex is a group of visual creators and storytellers on a mission to unearth Hong Kong's derelict abandoned sites.

HKFP Lens: Exploring Hong Kong’s abandoned psychiatric hospital