Advocates for Minnesotans with mental illness said Tuesday they are disappointed that House Republicans did not include money to remodel the Minnesota Security Hospital at St. Peter in their new bonding proposal. The state-owned hospital’s license to care for people with serious mental illnesses was downgraded to “provisional” last year after investigators found numerous rule violations, including what regulators said was inappropriate and high use of seclusion and restraints, in part because of poor building design.
Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed spending $40 million to renovate existing buildings and add 80 beds for transition programs and a 24-bed admissions unit. Patients are committed there for an average of eight years “and they deserve to receive treatment in a safe environment,” said Sue Abderholden, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota. To see bonding proposals by the governor and House Republicans, go to the legislature website.