Prairie View has dedicated over 65 years to providing the foundation for improvement. During World War II, conscientious objectors, objecting to the war and all forms of violence, served as volunteers in various settings in the U.S. Approximately 3,000 Mennonites, Quakers and Brethren worked as orderlies in 62 state mental hospitals.
These young people witnessed horrible things and complained about them to hospital administrators and to newspapers. Mennonite Central Committee, the overarching service arm of the Mennonite and Brethren Churches, formed Mennonite Mental Health Services, which was tasked with planning and building psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Prairie View was the third facility, which opened in March 1954. From its start, Prairie View’s philosophy was different. Those treating the psychiatric patients believed they were responsible for their own decisions and should be held accountable for their behavior.
Prairie View saw huge growth, beginning in 1963, when Prairie View contracted with Harvey County to provide services as its Community Mental Health Center. McPherson County followed in 1965 and Marion County in 1967.
Today we are in five locations, and with 370 staff we offer a complete range of behavioral and mental health services for all ages — children, teens, adults and older adults.