Vermont State Hospital

Picture of Brattleboro Retreat
Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia Commons

The new 14-bed Adult Intensive Unit at the Brattleboro Retreat psychiatric hospital has officially opened.


Vermont Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the state was surprised that the federal government has determined the state hospital is not eligible for 90 percent federal funds for its replacement following Tropical Storm Irene.

But Spaulding told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration is confident that it will get significant funding to replace the hospital.

He expects the state to get 90 percent federal funding for parts of the hospital, which is slated to cost nearly $43 million.

It looks like the state of Vermont will not meet its goal of starting construction on a new psychiatric hospital in Berlin before the end of this month.

But acting Mental Health Commissioner Mary Moulton and local officials in Berlin say they think the project is still on track.

The town Development Review Board put off a decision on the project for at least two more weeks at a meeting Tuesday night.

The state of Vermont is considering construction of a temporary, seven-bed secure psychiatric facility on state property in Middlesex, to remain in place while a permanent new psychiatric hospital is built in Berlin.

State officials had been looking for locations for such a facility in central Vermont, and had been eyeing a site in Waterbury, but had not been successful in working out an agreement.

The number of mentally ill Vermonters being held in hospital emergency rooms for lack of a mental health bed is heading in the wrong direction.

That's the word from Mental Health Commissioner Patrick Flood. Flood tells a legislative committee that instances in which mental health beds weren't available and patients were held in hospital emergency rooms grew from 15 in June to 22 in July and 24 in August.