CT Senate GOP: Scathing CT Mental Health Center report is “shocking”, “unacceptable”

May 23, 2024
For Immediate Release
Sen. Republican Leader Stephen Harding, Sen. Heather Somers, Ranking Senator on the Public Health Committee and Sen. Jeff Gordon, a medical doctor and a member of the Public Health Committee issued the following statement regarding a report which concluded that the state-run Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven is rife with sexual abuse and other violations.
“Shocking.  Disgusting. Unacceptable. The report cites failures on multiple levels. Failures which cry out for corrective actions and oversight.  We will work on a bipartisan basis to fix what is broken at this facility.”
Sen. Somers said she plans to ask for a formal investigation.  “We cannot have another patient abuse scandal on our hands,” Sen. Somers said. “I am determined to bring transparency and sunlight to this situation, just like I have in the past with the abuse at Whiting Forensic Hospital.”
Sen. Somers in 2022 helped lead a bipartisan effort to pass reforms in response to patient abuse at Whiting. The reforms championed by Sen. Somers:
  • changed the definition of abuse of patients to include harassment and bullying, rather than just physical abuse
  • empowered patients to know their voices can be heard
  • reestablished Whiting Forensic Hospital’s 11-member advisory board as an oversight board and expanded the board’s duties
  • included funding to remodel the hospital
  • required the board to make recommendations to the hospital and the state on necessary actions to improve staff work, hospital conditions, or patient or staff treatment needed to address complaints or staff concerns