Psychiatric hospital for Michigan’s sickest children struggles to stop patient escapes

By: Ross Jones: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-“Sickest” if a very poor choice of words…

Michigan’s only state-run psychiatric hospital for children—reserved for patients with the most severe mental illnesses—has experienced a surge of patient escapes in just the last month.

Five patient escapes from Hawthorn Center occurred in January alone, with some of those patients now facing possible criminal charges as a result of their conduct once they left the hospital.

For children battling the most severe mental illnesses, there is no place more vital than the Northville Township hospital.

As 7 Action News as reported, the waiting list to be admitted to Hawthorn is usually months long.

The children treated there are in need of urgent, round-the-clock care. Almost always, says mental health advocate Marianne Huff, they pose a danger to themselves or others.

“Starting fires in their family home, threatening their parents and their siblings,” Huff said, listing off the behaviors of many patients admitted to the hospital. Trying to hang themselves, overdoses.”

But as hard as it is to get into Hawthorn Center, some patients have found it easy to get out.

14 different patient escapes have been reported at the facility since 2020, according to police records obtained by 7 Action News.

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