Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive


Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive


Article excerpt

Inspired by Hopewell

When I received my February issue of Behavioral Healthcare I was immediately struck by the beauty of the cover depicting Hopewell, a therapeutic farming community in Northeast Ohio for adults with major mental illnesses. I read the article with much excitement and relief that finally a sense of compassion and humanity was returning to the behavioral healthcare system. It is a rare and beautiful thing to see. Dorothea Dix, the social worker who forced the United States in the 19th century to release the mentally ill from prisons and provide them therapeutic care, would be thrilled to know that what she engendered, and what has been lost for so long, is coming back to life.

As a therapist and behavioral healthcare professional for more than 20 years, I want to see this model replicated and become the standard, rather than the exception, for the care of the mentally ill. It is time for all of us who have devoted our lives to this field to come together and re-create what was systematically dismantled in the 1980s: the humane care of the mentally ill through the transformative power of genuine caring in an aesthetically appealing therapeutic environment.

What is a rarity could become a movement, develop into a trend, and then become the standard of care. It begins at places like Hopewell and can spread across the country if we as healthcare professionals together and make it happen.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "A society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members." Hopewell and therapeutic communities just like it can proudly say, "We agree, and we are putting our into action."

JoAnn Richi, MC, LPC, General Manager

Action Consulting & Treatment, LLC


Thank you so much for the article "Plant- ing recovery" in your February 2009 edition. As an architect who works with many mental health institutions founded under and dedicated to the principles of "moral treatment," I read about this farm treatment program with particular in- terest. …

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