'Imminent dangers' force suspension of Marshville mental health facility

MARSHVILLE, N.C. — A mental health facility for teens abruptly shut down part of its operation after the state intervened, citing "imminent dangers."

Most of the campus of Anderson Health Services in Marshville has been suspended after it was accused of practices that put patients at risk.

[LINK: State report against psychiatric center]

[LINK: State report on Anderson Health Services]

[LINK: State report on Marshville center]

The first sentence of the state report into the Union County facility did not mince words, reading, "Systemic failures of the facility endangered the health, safety, and welfare of the clients resulting in serious abuse, harm, and neglect."

Liz Foster and Brittney Johnson talk about a Channel 9 investigation into a Union County mental health facility for at-risk teens

Posted by WSOC-TV on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Channel 9's Liz Foster received new documents about this facility. She'll dig through them tonight at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The banner hanging outside the center said the facility provides “new hope,” but some may question that after a state investigation found serious issues at the psychiatric residential treatment campus, which can house 72 teens between the ages of 13 and 17.

Channel 9 obtained state findings from an investigation reported Friday that read, “Nursing staff left 29 pills of a controlled substance to treat ADHD & eating disorders -- on top of the refrigerator… It was never located.”

The report also states that the teens were able to obtain contraband items including a hammer, a knife, a cellphone and the leg of a broken wooden chair, which was later used to threaten an assault of a peer.

Investigators also reported a teen did not get proper and immediate medical attention after cutting her wrist so badly while trying to scale an 8-foot fence, that she needed 15 stitches.

State findings show staff members repeatedly failed to help teens who needed mental health care. Some of them had histories involving suicide attempts, setting themselves on fire, sex trafficking, destroying property and running away.

Anderson Health has only been open since September, but on Friday the state ordered two of the buildings on campus to be suspended from operating, and another isn't allowed to admit any new patients but can keep operating.

Channel 9 attempted to call the director of Anderson Health Services, but "the voicemail box is full."

At the facility, Channel 9 tried speaking to members of the staff.

Eventually, the attorney said they have no comment, but did say they filed an appeal on behalf of the company.