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LETTER: Help prevent Taunton State Hospital closure

The Enterprise

LETTER: Help prevent Taunton State Hospital closure

I am writing in response to recent coverage concerning the closing of Taunton State Hospital.

As a nurse that has worked at this facility for more than seven years I can tell you that without this facility in place, the patients I care for every day, who include elderly, demented, forensic and the chronic mentally ill, will suffer great harm without the services we provide.

I have an elderly patient whose family visits every day. These daily visit will not be possible if this patient is relocated to a facility outside this area as the patient’s elderly spouse will be unable to drive that distance. This is just one of many familial stories.

These patients deserve their family support. Contrary to claims made by the Department of Mental Health, there are no alternative services in place for these patients, and without us to care for them many of these people could end up homeless, in our emergency departments or in the corrections system, and some may die for lack of appropriate care.

The fact is the mental health system in our state is in a state of crisis, and closing this hospital will only make things considerably worse.

We need to prevent this closing, and more importantly, policymakers need to work on a real and comprehensive system for those suffering from mental illness in our state.

Susan Sherman. RNBC

Fall River