Timberlawn was founded in 1917 by Dr. James Terrill. He recognized the need for residential care for the chronic mentally ill patients with whom he worked. At that time, there was a national reform movement revolutionizing care of the mentally ill. Patients were being moved out of the city's general hospitals and jails, and into rural residential centers.
Dr. Terrill found a stately white farm house in the fields about a half day's buggy ride from the bustling city of Dallas. He called the new facility Timberlawn in recognition of the grassy forest which surrounded the house. It was the first such treatment center west of the Mississippi River. As many as fifteen patients lived in the upper story of the house, while Dr. Terrill and his family lived downstairs. Patients came from around the region, as Dr. Terrill's reputation for making progress with difficult cases grew.
As Dallas prospered and expanded, so did Timberlawn. By the end of World War II, Timberlawn had gained national recognition for working with traumatized veterans. The pharmaceutical revolution in medicine brought new hope for the mentally ill. For the first time, effective treatment was possible for some of the most disabling psychiatric illnesses. Under the leadership of Dr. Perry Talkington, former chief psychiatrist of Patton's Third Army, Timberlawn became a national referral center.
By the 1980's, Timberlawn had become an established national center for treatment, research and medical education. The psychiatric residency program, offered in conjunction with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has trained many of the psychiatrists in Texas. Timberlawn developed a reputation for innovation in the development of family therapy and special programs, and this tradition continues today.
The original farm house and the surrounding acreage remains today. Timberlawn's campus is still covered by lush grass and verdant woods, even though we are now just a five minute drive from downtown Dallas.
Help is only a phone call away.
Timberlawn has assessment specialists and Psychiatrists available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Call now for the help you or someone you care about needs.