More mental health beds are coming online to serve Vermonters in crisis, but staffing shortages could leave some of them empty.
Pandemic restrictions cut down on capacity at many facilities. Now, as many are opening back up, they have to contend with staffing shortages.
It’s no secret that pandemic-driven isolation, stress and anxiety are taking a toll on Vermonters’ mental heath. More are seeking acute care and some are having to wait sometimes days in the emergency room until they are admitted to a facility.
“This pandemic has really increased the mental health needs of many individuals,” said Samantha Sweet of the Vermont Department of Mental Health.
The Brattleboro Retreat is opening up six new beds so they can treat 75 patients by Oct. 1. The retreat declined an interview but issued a statement saying: “Ultimately we believe we can open more beds and be able to admit people waiting in emergency rooms more quickly. It is always best for patients and the healthcare system as a whole when we can initiate a person’s psychiatric care as soon as possible.”