Mental health professionals tonight calling Vermont’s mental health system critically broken, calling the Green Mountain’s state situation an emergency.
A lack of psychiatric beds is making it difficult for the state to provide proper care to those in crisis.
The people who need the beds are being shipped around the state or even out of state to find a safe place to stay.
These are people who are having a mental emergency and may be a danger to themselves or others, and they say part of the problem is that those of us who aren’t entangled in the system just don’t understand it or what they’re going through.
“It’s like being in a black hole. There is no hope. There’s no energy. There’s nothing. Just absolutely nothing,” Karen Kelley remembered.
That’s how she felt when she tried to kill herself back in March.
“You can’t imagine spending another day going through this. You can’t imagine that anyone would even care if you went through another day,” Kelley added.
Karen had gone to her doctor before she attempted suicide.
He knew she was in danger and needed a hospital bed and round the clock treatment, but there weren’t any available.
“I was absolutely panicked because I knew I needed to be in the hospital and that’s actually kind of what prompted the overdose was that if I took an overdose, they’d have to take me,” Kelley said.
But that’s not what happened, even after she overdosed, there still wasn’t room for Karen.