A nurse couldn’t ascertain what caused the scratches on the patient’s hip — the adults restraining him from cutting himself with a shard of glass, or the shard itself. On another day, a young woman attacked one of her peers for “flipping her off” and “calling her a b****.” When a staff member intervened, she punched him with her fist and he “pushed” her back and “cut her head.” These and other anecdotes fill the pages of the state of Michigan’s special investigation reports about The Manor in Jonesville, which just announced its closing due to license revocation.
The sobering solution to these allegations might be more involvement from the state government. Conservatives complain about licensing regulations and red tape, but without such things, perhaps no one would have noticed the charges of injustice at The Manor. The young adults will go through a state-sponsored relocation process because of the private entity’s apparent failure to adhere to regulations.
The Hillsdale area may not have the resources in money and staff training to operate the facility properly. But what does that mean for the emotionally disturbed youth of our town?
Recent tragedies have led to public figures calling for a “national conversation about mental health,” and while that’s ambiguous, The Manor’s situation begins that conversation in our community. How do we as a town ensure these young adults receive healthy treatment? While we believe families and communities should carry responsibility for their well-being, in our generation that isn’t always an option. Hillsdale College students have poured hours into The Manor, but they can’t right these wrongs.
Small cities have long since lost their capacity to care for the emotionally ill among them. Conservatives and communities alike will have to become more serious about what few and small solutions remain.