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The new CBHH system, Kjolsing said, “has failed the entire state.”
Willmar and the surrounding 18-county region are a case in point. Public records reviewed by the Star Tribune show that 436 mentally ill adults were arrested for assault here between 2007 and 2012 — a rate of almost two per week. Another 354 were arrested for violating restraining orders, 66 for making threats against others and 33 for stalking.
A residential treatment home in nearby Atwater, one of several designed to supplement the CBHHs, was placed on conditional license status last year after two incidents of neglect — one that involved a suicide by a patient who left the building and walked in front of a train.
This year, another patient slit his wrists while staff members were trying to place him back in the state system, according to Richard Lee, CEO of Woodland Centers, a Willmar nonprofit that runs a crisis center, counseling programs and the Atwater facility.
A similar facility in Annandale, 45 miles to the east, was placed on a conditional license in 2012 after state regulators found neglectful care in the case of two patients who committed suicide.
Today, Lee says, facilities like his are reluctant to accept patients with aggressive tendencies or suicidal histories.
“If we take them and things start to deteriorate,” Lee said, “we can’t get them out of here.”
Brad Schrade • 612-673-4777