Department of Mental Health

Auditor slams state’s failure to track social service contracts  

State Auditor Doug Hoffer. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

Doug Hoffer says the Agency of Human Services doesn’t always compare contractual requirements with services actually delivered by nonprofit contractors. As a result, he says, “the state cannot ensure that clients are receiving the services they need and the public is paying for.”

Brattleboro Retreat avoids losing federal certification

Brattleboro Retreat. Photo by Randy Holhut/The Commons

Psychiatric hospital fails recent inspection, but strikes oversight deal with federal officials to keep its Medicare and Medicaid status beyond a Monday deadline.

Special Report: Two suicide attempts highlight troubles at the Brattleboro Retreat, raise doubts about state oversight

State patients are treated on the fourth floor of the Tyler Building on the Brattleboro Retreat campus. Photo by Randy Holhut/The Commons

Sen. Claire Ayer said she was disappointed with Retreat officials for not being more forthcoming in public testimony about a series of events on the adolescent unit.

Parents file grievance with Brattleboro Retreat after child’s untimely death

State patients are treated on the fourth floor of the Tyler Building on the Brattleboro Retreat campus. Photo by Randy Holhut/The Commons

Adolescent in the psychiatric hospital’s care attempted hanging and later died at an out-of-state hospital. Retreat says it doesn’t know if those injuries caused the patient’s death.

State psychiatric hospital has difficulty hiring nurses

Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

The state psychiatric hospital’s patients are the most complex and highly acute psychiatric cases in the state, and the hospital is ramping up occupancy in a “clinically sound” manner, CEO Jeff Rothenberg said.

Springfield Hospital’s CMS certification endangered by violations

Central Vermont Medical Center's Emergency Department. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDigger

The hospital describes itself as the “poster-child” for how the social determinants of health impact a small rural medical delivery system. The local population has high rates of poverty, crime, drug use and low educational attainment.

Psychiatric center in trouble for violating patient rights

From left, Mental Health Commissioner Paul Dupre, deputy commissioner Frank Reed and medical director Jay Batra testify at a House Mental Health Oversight Committee meeting Tuesday. Photo by Katie Jickling/VTDigger

A patient at the Windham Center mental health facility was left in restraints for nearly 12 hours and coerced into taking medication, according to an investigation report from the state.

Public records policy treats individual lawmakers like ordinary citizens

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The state wanted $450 to compile records for Rep. Anne Donahue that would detail the Department of Mental Health’s knowledge and response to recent issues at the Brattleboro Retreat, the Middlesex Therapeutic Community Residence and Springfield Hospital.

New state psychiatric hospital brings care into the 21st century

Vermont's new state psychiatric hospital with 25 beds is preparing to receive its first patients in August.

The Berlin psychiatric hospital is the lynchpin of the decentralized mental health care system Vermont is building, and it’s a far cry from the facility it was built to partially replace.

Pathways Vermont seeks designated agency status, meets resistance from other mental health programs

Hilary Melton, executive director of Pathways Vermont, testifies Monday, April 14, 2014, at a public hearing before Department of Mental Health officials. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

Pathways will lose $800,000 when federal grants run out. The nonprofit is applying for Medicaid funding, which would require a state match of $350,000.

Confusion about state hospital fuels lawmakers’ concerns

Rep. Martha Heath, D-Westford, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, heard testimony Wednesday on the Budget Adjustment Act. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

DMH commissioner said Central Vermont Medical Center wants no part in providing ancillary services to the state’s new psychiatric hospital; CEO said that’s not so.

Rent assistance for mentally ill should come with support services, lawmakers say

State Mental Health Commissioner Paul Dupre testified before the Legislature's Mental Health Oversight Committee at the Statehouse on Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Mental Health Oversight Committee concerned that housing aid alone is not enough for many patients.

Need for child mental health services growing, lawmakers told

Charles Biss, right, Charles Biss, director of the Child, Adolescent and Family Unit of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, listens to testimony at the Legislature's Mental Health Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday. Photo by Viola Gad/VTDigger

Keeping acutely ill adolescents and children close to families during treatment is vital, officials say.

‘One-hour requirement’ controversy slows down emergency restraint regulations

AJ Ruben, attorney for Disability Rights Vermont, testifyies before the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules at the Statehouse on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Photo by Viola Gad/VTDigger

The main area of contention surrounds who should tend to mentally ill patients within an hour after they have been involuntarily restrained or secluded.

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