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Behavioral health professionals pushing for a new State Hospital in Jamestown

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North Dakota's Behavioral Health Planning Council is urging North Dakota lawmakers to fund a new state hospital in Jamestown.

Carlotta McCleary is the executive director of Mental Health America of North Dakota, and a member of the Council. She presented a resolution from the Council to the Legislature’s interim Acute Psychiatric Treatment Committee. McCleary said the Council fully supports community based behavioral services, but also recognizes the need for in-patient services, provided at the state Hospital. She said the current Hospital buildings have exhibited “profound deterioration.”

"These facilities have long outlived their expected life spans," McCleary told the Committee.

McCleary said the current facilities lack natural light and healing green-space, and they pose hazards to patients and staff.

The state Hospital is on the same grounds as the James River Correctional Center.

"The co-location of the current state hospital facility with an adjoining prison facility contributes to the stigma, the prejudice and discrimination of individuals withe mental illness, denying patients and residents served at the state hospital the right to receive appropriate and respectful care in a safe and healing environment," McCleary said.

The interim committee will be making recommendations on a new state hospital, as well as expansion of community-based treatment. The Planning Council also supports that expansion.

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