Peter LoIacono

Community must take control of solving the Retreat's crisis

The closing of the Brattleboro Retreat would have a profoundly negative impact on Brattleboro, on Retreat employees, and on the region.

Moreover, the loss of one of the nation's largest and longest-standing comprehensive psychiatric hospitals (12th in size as of 2016) would leave many struggling to find adequate mental health and substance abuse treatment. Action needs to be taken to save the Retreat, and fast.

Just don't rely on the current administration or board to fully accomplish that task.

Not long after I began my nearly 16 years working as an outpatient substance abuse clinician at the Retreat, I was struck by what I considered a corporate mindset at the organization. Being familiar with and having worked at some non-profit behavioral health programs early in my career, I'm a bit sensitive to this kind of politic. But no, this was Vermont, and stuff like antagonism to the union and managerial silos lacking transparency would not have seemed likely in this state.

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