Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Press Release
Anna Chinappi
April 02, 2010 – For immediate release:

Massachusetts Sweeps First-Ever National Award for Reducing and Eliminating Restraint and Seclusion
BOSTON — Massachusetts swept the first-ever awards given by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recognizing sustained restraint and seclusion reduction and prevention work. Five of the ten awards were given to Massachusetts’ facilities, including Taunton State Hospital and the nine child/adolescent statewide programs operated by the Department of Mental Health (DMH).

Massachusetts has led the nation in the reduction and elimination of restraint and seclusion since DMH launched its Restraint and Seclusion Elimination Initiative in 2001. In that time, the use of seclusion and restraint has decreased more than 63 percent statewide with more robust reductions in several facilities like Taunton State Hospital which has reduced its use 88 percent and the DMH child/adolescent statewide programs which have reduced total episodes of restraint and seclusion by 93 percent. The DMH statewide programs were the only youth-serving programs in the country to be recognized by SAMHSA.

“I could not be more proud of the work we have done and will continue to do in Massachusetts facilities and I am fully committed to advancing our restraint and seclusion prevention work even further,” said DMH Commissioner Barbara A. Leadholm, M.S., M.B.A. “Congratulations to all of our award winners — they are a shining example of the positive outcomes we strive for as our system continually transforms and promotes recovery-based practices.”

In addition to Taunton State Hospital and the nine DMH child/adolescent programs, SAMHSA’s “Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint Recognition Program” also recognized


Kindred Hospital Northeast Stoughton, Neurorehabilitation Units, Stoughton, MA

Kindred Hospital Park View-Springfield, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit; Springfield, MA

Noble Hospital, Fowler Unit; Westfield, MA

Salem Hospital, Psychiatric Medicine Center; Salem, OR

Andrew McFarland Mental Health Center; Springfield, IL

Elgin Mental Health Center; Elgin, IL

Cherokee Mental Health Institute; Cherokee, IA

Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services; Sparks, NV

SAMHSA hosted a recognition ceremony at its headquarters in Rockville, MD this week to honor the efforts of these leaders among behavioral health facilities that have made remarkable strides towards preventing the use of seclusion and restraint practices.

As part of SAMHSA’s mission to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities, the agency has set forth a vision to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint practices in behavioral health care settings. The “Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint Recognition Program” acknowledges the excellent work being done across the country and creates the opportunity for leaders to share experiences with other programs throughout the U.S.
About DMH

The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) is one of the 17 state agencies that comprise the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. DMH provides services to adults, children and adolescents with long-term or serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance; provides early and ongoing treatment for mental illness; and conducts research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness. Through state operated inpatient facilities and community mental health centers and through community services and programs provided by nearly 200 mental health providers, DMH directly serves 21,000 citizens, including about 3,500 children and adolescents, with severe and persistent mental illness and serious emotional disturbance.