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Piper urges safety improvements for Security Hospital

New Community Competency Restoration Program in St. Peter highlights progress in strengthening state safety-net services

2/13/2017 1:37:12 PM

Media inquiries only
Christopher Sprung
Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper visited St. Peter today to highlight ongoing work to strengthen mental health and other key safety-net services statewide, and underscore the importance of legislative bonding and budget proposals to continue these efforts at the Minnesota Security Hospital. 
Piper pointed to the new Community Competency Restoration Program (CCRP) in St. Peter as a prime example of how a recent strategic realignment of mental health and substance abuse treatment services in St. Peter is improving access to care and increasing the number of psychiatric beds available throughout the state.
“This is a whole new level of care that was missing in our system for treating people with mental illness,” said Piper, who was joined by union representatives at the CCRP. “It provides the right treatment in the right therapeutic setting, and it improves patient flow from one level of care to the next systemwide.” 
The CCRP treats individuals who have been charged with a crime but deemed incompetent to stand trial and those committed to the commissioner as mentally ill. The 32-bed facility, which opened last month, focuses on clients who do not need to be hospitalized or treated in a secure setting. The program takes pressure off regional Community Behavioral Health Hospitals, the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, and the Minnesota Security Hospital, freeing up much-needed psychiatric beds at those facilities. 
“It’s a significant improvement, but there are many other steps we still need to take to strengthen these safety-net services,” Piper said, adding that completing planned renovations to outdated and unsafe facilities and staffing the Security Hospital at a “responsible level” are top priorities. 
Gov. Mark Dayton’s recommendation for $70.255 million in this year’s bonding bill would complete the renovation of Security Hospital facilities, creating safer and more therapeutic living units, more transition housing, overall building improvements and the physical separation of the vulnerable adult patients from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program population on the St. Peter campus. These improvements will also provide safer working conditions for approximately 830 state employees who work at Security Hospital and related forensics programs.
The governor’s $22.85 million budget proposal would also improve safety by increasing staffing at Security Hospital, adding 146 employees over three years and bringing staffing levels closer in line with those at similar treatment facilities in other states. The much-needed new positions will help the facility meet regulatory standards, reduce injuries and improve outcomes for approximately 350 patients. Increased staffing will also help reduce overtime and increase programming for patients on evenings and weekends.
“These critical investments are central to improving treatment and safety for the people we serve, our direct care staff and the public,” Piper said.
The governor’s budget and bonding requests for state-operated mental health and other direct care facilities also include:
  • $896,000 to continue operating the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services and another $7.53 million to construct a new facility for the program in Willmar
  • $5 million for security upgrades at direct-care facilities
  • $2.25 million for cameras and other security upgrades at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center 
  • $10.29 million to stabilize funding and continue services for 1,100 people with disabilities not served by other providers
  • $3.9 million to enact reforms to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program
More information on the bonding and budget proposals are available on the /dhs/media/fact-sheets/session-fact-sheet-archive.jspsession fact sheets page on the DHS website.
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