Mental Health Official Says Patient Transports Will Improve

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Vermont’s top mental health official is promising the state will improve its methods for transporting mental health patients when they have to move.

The Associated Press reported this week that despite a seven-year-old state law that patients are to be moved in the least restrictive way necessary, about two-thirds are still being moved from place to place by county sheriffs in handcuffs and leg shackles.

Mental Health Commissioner Patrick Flood says his department is working on the problem and hopes within the next few months to reach a standard where 60 percent of patients are moved in what he calls non-secure transports.

Flood made the comment Wednesday during a news conference about a new law retooling Vermont’s mental health system.

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