Skip to main content

Incidents involving teens at MN mental health facilities raise questions


Two Minnesota mental health facilities are under the microscope following reported missteps by hospital workers and a state department.

Scrutiny of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter is continuing in the wake of a teenage patient's violent attack on a female employee earlier this month, with the Star Tribune reporting the 16-year-old shouldn't have been there in the first place.

The boy reportedly bashed the woman's head into a brick wall a number of times, sending her to the hospital.

According to the Star Tribune, court documents reveal the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) violated a 2011 court order prohibiting the transfer of patients to security hospitals if they are only suffering from developmental disabilities – as is apparently the case of the teen involved in the attack.

The DHS website indicates the St. Peter hospital is used to house "people who have been committed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous."

The situation has prompted calls from Gov. Mark Dayton and some Minnesota lawmakers for change at the facility, where the number of patient assaults on workers is on pace for a record high, KARE 11 reports.

Incident in St. Cloud

An employee at the St. Cloud Children's Home has been disciplined for leaving a 14-year-old patient "on risk status for suicide" alone in a calming room, where the youth was later found with a sweatshirt wrapped around their neck, according to the St. Cloud Times.

The incident happened in May, and the paper notes the teen was ultimately unharmed. But the staffer in question was cited for “maltreatment as to neglect" – it's unclear whether the person will be subject to any further action.

The home is run by Catholic Charities, part of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Next Up

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook suffered torn labrum, dislocated shoulder

Cook is now dealing with a dislocated shoulder and a torn labrum on both sides of his body, according to a report.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

One Gophers QB has already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

unsplash - woman sick coughing - CROP

Long COVID: Review of Mayo patients may provide new clues

The researchers summarized three "major novel findings" from the data.

Joe Biden

Biden's visit to MN will include stop at Dakota County Technical College

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.