Construction Underway On New Vermont Mental Health Facility

ESSEX, Vt. (AP) — Construction is underway in Essex on a new treatment center for Vermonters with high-level mental health needs, officials said Friday.

Gov. Phil Scott and others marked the beginning of construction of what will be a 16-bed residence for those who are no longer in need of inpatient care in a hospital, but who still need services in a secure setting.

It will be built at the location of the now-closed Woodside Juvenile Detention Facility, which will be demolished as part of the construction process for the new center.

“This is big step towards enhancing our mental health system and ensuring that everyone has access to the level of treatment they need to recover,” Scott said.

In addition to natural surroundings, residents will have shared community spaces to gather, eat meals, garden, and to practice those activities that enable them to go back to their community as soon as possible.

The new center will replace the Middlesex Therapeutic Care Residence, which was built in Middlesex in the aftermath of the 2011 flooding from Tropical Storm Irene that forced the permanent closing of the state hospital in Waterbury.