Paul Engels and Michael Deacon: Vermont regionalization, 1992. White Light Communications Collection (MS 984). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
(00:01:00)Discussing statewide efforts to faze out the Vermont State Hospital. Engels describes crisis management and case management,
two ways to deinstitutionalize hospitals.
(00:03:52)Case management became popular in the 1980s. In choosing case management, hospital system rejected other approaches, including
mutual support self-help, community and voluntary treatment options in hospitals, and integrated housing.
(00:07:08)The Vermont State Hospital was established in 1891. Engels and Deacon discus faults in the single centralized system, and
complain that the regionalization system is still not being implemented.
(00:08:08)Deacon describes his positive experience with case manager. As of 1992, it didn't seem the VT State Hospital would close anytime
soon. Deacon mentions a Senate bill (not yet passed at time of interview) to increase forced hospitalization. Advisory board
of hospital not consulted in process.
(00:10:58)The original plan for regionalization meant closing the state hospital. Case management helped cut numbers of patients, but
there are still many living in hospital. Engels highly critical.
(00:14:32)Deacon talks about the "dumping" of more challenging individuals at state hospitals. Argues for least restrictive alternatives
for people in their communities, as well as crisis services. Calls the whole process a failure.
(00:17:00)Engels demands a philosophical change in the Department of Mental Health. Together they discuss biochemical psychiatry, which
is considered to have immediate and chemical effects.
(00:19:58)The cost of mental health systems. Brattleboro Retreat is the major private hospital in Vermont.
(00:21:19)Discussion of legal rights and contracts, including the right to refuse treatment (in the state of Vermont). Frustrated with
a "providers-designed system."
(00:27:38)Accuses hospital of unqualified, inept management. Persisting abuses with inadequate investigation
(00:29:16)Interview ends. Credits roll. Producer: Paul Engels, Director: Irene Rea, Camera: Richard Love and Greg Abajian, Contact Information.