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Regional psychiatric center closes in Minnesota

BRAHAM, Minn. (AP) -- Thousands of patients with severe mental illnesses will have to turn elsewhere for treatment after one of the largest mental health agencies in Minnesota abruptly ended service.

Riverwood Centers provided outpatient clinical and community-based mental health services to several thousand residents in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties. Riverwood says county funding cuts has forced it to close its five clinics and an emergency home visiting service.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has issued an urgent request for community agencies to provide mobile crisis services in the region affected. The closure comes at a time when communities across the state face a severe shortage of psychiatric services.  A recent legislative report said hundreds of patients are visiting hospital emergency rooms and county jails because the state doesn't have adequate mental health services.

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