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Posted inHealth

Senate passes bill increasing oversight to stem abuse at Whiting

More than a year after the repeated, cruel abuse of a Whiting Forensic patient was captured on videotape, the state Senate approved a bill that would create an independent task force to oversee the maximum security psychiatric facility and would make staff there and other state behavioral health facilities subject to fines or even criminal charges if they fail to report abuse.

Posted inHealth, Money, Politics

Prospect of detox, psychiatric bed cuts worries hospital officials

As they try to cut more than $34 million from their budget, officials at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services say they anticipate reducing the number of treatment beds available – a prospect that worries hospital officials and mental health professionals. “In an era when we’re in this opioid crisis, why would we be reducing capacity when there’s already not enough?” said Terri DiPietro, director of the Center for Behavioral Health at Middlesex Hospital.

Posted inHealth

Mental health agencies take on larger role coordinating all care

The fitness group walked in loops on the path with 51-year-old member Cindy as its unofficial cheerleader, But this is not a typical exercise group. It’s part of a statewide effort to bring together mental and physical health care for thousands of people with serious mental illness, chronic medical conditions and high health care costs. Second of two stories.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

When did having mental illness become a felony?

The governor’s proposed budget, with $25.5 million cuts to the safety net for people with severe mental illness and substance use problems will have a two-fold effect. No money will be saved, and dollars will shift from evidence-based treatment provided to people in their communities, to a variety of expensive and inappropriate alternatives, such as increased inpatient hospitalizations, emergency room visits, incarceration, and nursing home placements.