The state of inpatient mental health care in Vermont is in trouble. The former Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury was plagued by problems, including two suicides in 2003 that exposed safety and treatment deficiencies that put patients at risk. Soon after, the federal government decertified the hospital, costing the state $10 million a year in federal funding. Then came Tropical Storm Irene, dealing a fatal blow to the outdated facility.
Jeff Rothenberg is in charge of implementing a new era in mental health care in Vermont that is largely decentralized. The Vermont State Hospital is being replaced with the much smaller Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital that is still under construction in Berlin. Watch the video for more.