News stories from Counterpoint

Plan for Forensic Facility Dropped

Plan for Forensic Facility Dropped

A bill originally intended to codify admissions criteria at Vermont’s first psychiatric facility exclusively for patients committed by a criminal court underwent major revisions over the course of the legislative session. By the time S.192 passed in May, lawmakers and...

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Peer Certification Bill Passes

Peer Certification Bill Passes

The Vermont General Assembly approved a bill requiring the Office of Professional Regulation to certify peer support providers. It will take effect on July 1, 2025. In 2022, Vermont’s five peer mental health organizations sought to persuade the legislature to enact a...

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Veterans Support Veterans at VA

Veterans Support Veterans at VA

Across the country, the US Department of Veterans Affairs has made peer support an integral part of mental healthcare. Vermont is no exception. Nationally, the Veterans Health Administration employs about 1,400 peers. Joshua Gerasimof, a supervisory peer specialist,...

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News Briefs

News Briefs

Budget Provides Small Increase for Mental Health The state’s new fiscal year will start on July 1. In its annual appropriations bill, the legislature increased the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Vermont’s community mental health centers by 3%. In January, Gov. Scott...

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Arts and commentary from Counterpoint

Things Are Looking Up

Things Are Looking Up

Commentary by Bryan Plant II While my mental health has been a lifelong struggle, the road back began in 2018. A simple routine visit with my doctor was an unintended first step. He asked the simple question, “How are you doing?” Apparently, that was all I needed to...

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Murals Brighten Group Homes

Murals Brighten Group Homes

Over the past year, the Howard Center Arts Collective has collaborated with residents and staff at four Chittenden County group homes to bring color and imagination to the walls of their common spaces. The Arts Collective hired member-artist Annie Caswell to spearhead...

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Editorial: ‘Housing First’ Must Mean Housing

Editorial: ‘Housing First’ Must Mean Housing

Editorial: Housing First Means Housing First Saying that housing is the solution to homelessness is a little like saying that oxygen is the solution to asphyxiation. Both statements are obviously true – though the former hasn’t always been as obvious to some as the...

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An Unusual Sort of Nervous Breakdown

An Unusual Sort of Nervous Breakdown

Short fiction by Ron Merkin “Sorry, Samantha, I’m calling because I can’t be at our board meeting this Tuesday. I made an appointment to have a nervous breakdown that day.” There was silence. Then, “You made… an appointment… to have a… nervous breakdown?” “Yes, with a...

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Music Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention

Music Raises Funds for Suicide Prevention

“Music is good for your mental health.” That’s what the lead singer of the sextet Cozy told the crowd that had gathered at Hard’ack Recreation Area in St. Albans for the festival known as Afterglow. It was early afternoon on a sunny fall Saturday, and as attendees...

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