State report outlines need for new secure residential facility

Published: Dec. 26, 2019 at 3:06 PM EST
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A recent report from the Vermont Department of Mental Health outlines the need for a new secure residential facility in the state.

Plans to build a 16-bed physically secure residential facility are in the works. This is to replace the Middlesex facility, the temporary facility that replaced the Waterbury facility that flooded during Hurricane Irene.

The report says the state-run program will be able to perform emergency involuntary procedures within the mental health system. It will also make it easier to discharge patients from Level 1 inpatient beds across the state.

The report is going to the Department of Mental Health committee and the institutions committee for decisions.

One state senator says this is long overdue.

"This is one of those really complex areas that travels between mental health care and sometimes public safety. The people that we are talking about need some very specific care. These are not always easy decisions and we want to make sure that we get it right and I am encouraged by the report and the way it describes what our needs are," said Sen. Ginny Lyons, D-Chittenden County.

At the moment, the report says there is no need for an interim or alternative facility.

Sen. Lyons did say after decisions have been made, the next step would be looking into the need for an interim facility. Data does show further expansion of the Maplewood Recovery Residence operated by Rutland Mental Health Services may be worth looking into.