Vermont Governor Announces Beginning Of Construction

Vermont Governor Phil Scott Announces Beginning Of Construction On New Recovery Residence

Montpelier, VT (STL.News) Governor Phil Scott announced today that construction of a new treatment center for Vermonters with high-level mental health needs has begun in Essex.  The new facility, a 16-bed step-down recovery residence, will provide care for those who are no longer in need of inpatient care in a hospital, but who still need services in a secure setting that often exceed the capacity of community health providers.

“This is big step towards enhancing our mental health system and ensuring that everyone has access to the level of treatment they need to recover,” said Governor Scott.  “The continued collaboration between the state, the legislature, the Green Mountain Care Board, and our community mental health partners has made this project a reality.”

The building of the new, modern facility is the result of legislation passed in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.  Once completed, it will replace the Middlesex Therapeutic Care Residence, which was built as a temporary solution after the state’s psychiatric hospital in Waterbury was flooded in 2011.

Mike Smith, Secretary of the Agency of Human Services, noted that the new location will be able to receive admissions after hours and on weekends.  “This is important because it will aid in easing the current strain on hospital emergency departments across the state,” said Secretary Smith.

Along with access to natural surroundings, residents will have shared community spaces to gather, eat meals, garden, and to practice those activities that enable them to go back to their community as soon as possible.  Every individual will have the benefit of on-site nursing, available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

“The design of the new building and grounds is based on modern research about what’s best for individuals in need,” said Emily Hawes, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health.  “We know that care facilities should feel more like a home than an institution, and that allowing easy access to nature helps residents feel safe and aids their recovery.”

The new facility in Essex is being built on the site of the former Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, the state’s youth detention center that was permanently closed in October 2020.