Brattleboro, Vt. — Fueled by an increase in depression caused by economic stress, increased abuse of prescription drugs, plus the launch of a series of new services and programs, Brattleboro Retreat, a nomprofit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, saw admissions jump by a record 23 percent in 2010. Brattleboro provided in-patient care for almost 3,000 adults and adolescents last year and sometimes saw as many as 24 new admissions per day, the most in the facility’s 177-year history. The average in-patient stay last year ranged from 6.5 to 14.8 days.
Nationally, psychiatric hospitals saw an admissions increase of about 3.5 percent, according to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS).
“The economic downturn and the stress it created on individuals and their families certainly had an impact on the number of new patients,” said Dr. Robert E. Simpson, Jr., president and CEO.
The Retreat is currently considering plans to increase the number of inpatient beds by 14 within the next year, Dr. Simpson said. The Hospital is also hiring 35 additional jobs to meet increased demands for services.
In addition to the increase in patients suffering from depression, Simpson said other factors have impacted his institution’s jump in admissions including:
- New clinical initiatives including a program designed exclusively to treat veterans, first responders and other uniformed professionals suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other duty-related problems.
- An expansion of the Retreat’s alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
- An expansion of the Retreat’s inpatient LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) program which opened in 2009.
- Greater public awareness and understanding of mental health issues and a reduced stigma attached to those who receive treatment.
- An increase in the abuse rates of Oxycontin and other prescription opiates.
Founded in 1834, Brattleboro Retreat provides a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages and their families. Nationally recognized for its premier treatment in behavioral healthcare, the facility offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient treatment.