WBUR

Expert: Mass. Mental Health Care Workers, Patients Need More Resources

BOSTON — Massachusetts public mental health system has been under close examination for almost two years since a mental health worker was murdered, allegedly by a client.

WBUR and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting have been looking into system, and we’ve found several problems including workers who say they still feel unsafe and clients who say they’re not getting the right services. Our investigation also found that workers at a Somerville group home were cited by the state for not reporting a missing patient even though they hadn’t seen her for two days. She was eventually found dead in the home after apparently committing suicide.

As we conclude our series, we hear from Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and former acting commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

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  • Croesor

    Massachusetts began to fall behind in their treatment of the mentally ill as early as 1989 when William Weld took office, and privatization of mental health care became the norm. Community Mental Health Centers were dismantled, and this was a very great shame since they provided a coordinated “hub” for both inpatient and outpatient care for mentally ill people. Now, things are in a splintered shambles with Taunton State Hospital about to close, Mass Mental Health Center a shadow of its former self, and Quincy Mental Health Center shuttered–to name just a few of the destructive changes in the landscape of mental health care. It’s very sad.

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