The Patrick administration announced the closing of Taunton State Hospital, explaining that a new mental health facility was constructed in Worcester. But the mayor of Worcester has joined a growing contingent of political leaders who have stood up against Gov. Deval Patrick’s plans to close Taunton State.
Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said that mental health services have never been adequate. Petty said that the new facility in Worcester was supposed to add to the total beds in Massachusetts, not take them away from another region.
"This hospital in Worcester was supposed to add to the beds in Massachusetts, not make them neutral at the end of the day," said Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.
Petty also posed questions about what would happen to those from eastern Massachusetts who are typically served at Taunton State are released from the new Worcester facility.
"What happens at the end of the day when all the people from the Taunton area come to Worcester to use the hospital," Petty said. "It’s going to decrease the beds (for central Massachusetts), of course. But what’s going to happen when the people get discharged? Are they going to be discharged into the city of Worcester? We’ll have to find social service agencies to help them out and get settled. We already have those issues in Worcester. There is no reason to add to them."
— Staff Writer Marc Larocque
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