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Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute 

Visiting the Cemetery 

In 2005, the Nursing Week Planning Committee decided to sponsor a community service project.  With an overwhelming response from the Nursing Staff, the Committee chose to improve the landscaping at the SWVMHI cemetery.  

Committee members visited the cemetery, many of whom had never visited the cemetery or even knew of its existence, and stood in awe at the panoramic view and vast history that laid beneath their feet.  

There are 1,210 people buried in the cemetery.  All were patients of SWVMHI whose family either did not want the remains, or could not afford a burial.  

In 2006, The Nursing Week Committee decided to continue with the cemetery improvement in memory and honor of those buried in the SWVMHI cemetery. 

Work completed thus far includes:

  • Concrete was poured in the walkway containing the obelisk

  • Two concrete benches were placed on the walkway near the obelisk.

  • Flower bulbs were planted around the concrete walkway.

Future Improvement Ideas:

Future improvement ideas include:

  • Determine an official name for the cemetery.  Suggestions are encouraged and welcome. 
  • Install a Kiosk/Marker with the names and locations of those buried, with an additional identifying marker placed at each gravesite. 
  • Place an arch at the beginning of the walkway.
  • Establish a written history of the cemetery.
  • Plant forget-me-nots in areas that will not hinder mowing.
  • Have Memorial Day services annually.  

Improvements will be completed as funds are collected to cover costs.  Estimated costs for all phases could reach $10,000 or more.  


Visiting the Cemetery:

To visit our cemetery, and the  "Forget-Me-Nots in Heaven known only to GOD," please call ahead to 276-783-1221 to arrange a date and time of visit.   All visitors must be escorted to the cemetery.

 For additional information about the improvement project, please contact:

Norma Brickey     276-783-1368