The neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta started at its annex in Lantoro in 1944 as an Administrative Prison/Asylum established by the Colonial Governmnent for the mentally ill soldiers repatriated home after World War II. It was initially under the supervision of Mr. Leonard Oliver and was later supervised by Dr Cameron.
The need later arose for a modern Psychiatric Hospital hence, the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro was established in 1954, under the pioneering leadership of the doyen of Psychiatry in Nigeria and indeed Africa, and academician and administrator, Late Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo OFR, former Deputy Director General World Health Organization. Professor Adeoye Lambo by dint of hard work, excellence in academia, vision and administrative astuteness put Aro and Nigeria on the international map through his ‘ARO VILLAGE’ concept.
The hospital, Aro, is situated along Lagos-Abeokuta Express Road near Ita Oshin.
It was formerly under a joint Management Board with Yaba and Uselu Psychiatric Hospitals (by virtue of decree 92 of 1979) which affiliated it to the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan while the Federal Ministry of Health serves as the supervising ministry. Currently it has its own Management Board.
The Lantoro Annexe is about 20 kilometres from Aro and caters largely for long stay patients and mentally abnormal offenders, while the hospital at Aro caters mostly for acutely ill patients and those with alcohol and substance abuse problems. The hospital has a total bed capacity of 526 and renders services to patients from all over the country and from some neighbouring West African countries. The hospital provides in-patient, out-patient and specialized services in the areas of drug abuse treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, forensic services, emergency psychiatric services and primary health care facilities to patients.
It offers psychiatric training for medical students as well as post basic training for Nurses, and provides a clinical environment for the training of psychiatric Social Workers, Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Post Graduate Nurses.
The hospital is also an accredited institution for the post-graduate fellowship training programmes of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria West African Post-Graduate Medical College and West African College of Nursing in Mental Health. It is involved in research and collaborates with other institutions in the area of community mental health, substance abuse, forensic psychiatry and epidemiology. In recognition of its immense contributions to knowledge in mental health and its excellent clinical services, training and research, the hospital was designated a WHO Collaborating centre for Research and Training In Mental Health and Neurosciences in 1979. The Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta is headed by a Medical Director, currently Dr (Mrs) TA Adamson who is assisted by the Directors of Clinical Services, Research and Training. Community Mental Health Services, and that of Administration.