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Founded in 1844, Butler Hospital is Rhode Island's only non-profit, free-standing psychiatric hospital providing adults, seniors and adolescents specialized assessment and treatment for all major psychiatric illnesses and substance abuse. The hospital's inpatient program has eight treatment units with specialty programs for adolescents, seniors, people with substance abuse problems, and people suffering from mood and psychotic disorders. Butler's Partial Hospital Day Program has separate programs for psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.

Butler is a member of the Care New England Health System and is affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It is the flagship hospital for Brown's Department of Psychiatry which has been recognized as one of the top ten in the United States. It is also a training facility for residents, medical students, interns, and students in adult psychiatry at Brown as well as students and interns from other colleges and universities in the region.

A nationally and internationally recognized research center, Butler is an active participant in a variety of research initiatives which include studies in:

  • Major depression.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders.
  • Parkinson's disease, anxiety.
  • Substance abuse and family violence.
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Perinatal mood disorders.

Butler Hospital employs approximately 900 full-time and part-time clinical and non-clinical staff. More than 75 volunteers assist the staff in nearly all areas of the hospital. The Board of Directors represents a cross-section of the business community.