Vermont Moves to Community Care After Hurricane Destroys State Hospital

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin “is going to use this tragedy of losing our State Hospital during (hurricane) Irene as an opportunity to deliver the best quality community-based mental health care in the country.” The hospital will be replaced by a 16-bed “last resort,” with the state’s focus shifting to building a network of smaller, community-based approaches.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].

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  1. For those of you following this story, it appears that the Governor reached a compromise with legistlators to go ahead with plans for a 25 bed facility rather than the 16 beds he had proposed. This could change in the next few years as a variety of community programs are funded and become available to help reduce the need for hsopitalization.

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  2. What sort of community treatment is being proposed? Forced drugging or “ACT/AOT”? I doubt this community based treatment idea will be a good idea after years of brainwashing the public into thinking that neuroleptic drugs are essential treatments.

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