Health Care

Public hearing will check in with mental health workers

The Vermont Legislature will hold a joint hearing on the status of front-line workers at mental health facilities, including the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin.

The House Health Care Committee and Senate Health and Welfare Committee are holding the hearing Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 11 of the Statehouse in Montpelier.

The Vermont State Employees’ Association is organizing front-line workers from the Department of Mental Health, Department of Corrections, Department for Children and Families and the Vermont Veterans’ Home.

“It’s been widely acknowledged that our state is experiencing a crisis when it comes to the delivery of mental health services to Vermonters in need, and now lawmakers want to hear from front-line workers about what impact the crisis is having on you,” the union wrote in a flier.

Data from the Department of Mental Health show that involuntary hospitalizations of adults reached a record high in 2016. The Senate Judiciary Committee has been working on legislation to overturn the decision Kuligoski v. Brattleboro Retreat, which the department says is leading to some of the increased hospitalizations.

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Erin Mansfield

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  • barry kade

    Hopefully there will be participation from Emergency Room staff at the regional hospitals, where dozens of mental health patients are warehoused until space is available at the State facility.

    • Joanne Hunt

      Hopefully there will also be participation from primary care providers too.

      • Ted lambert jr

        Were designated agency employees invited to participate? DA employees earn up to 1/3 less that their State of Vt employee counterparts.