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Patient suicide raises staffing issues at St. Peter, Minn. facility

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The union representing workers at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) mental hospital in St. Peter has criticized staffing levels after a patient committed suicide by hanging himself. Part of the union’s evidence of understaffing: Patients had to help employees cut down the man’s body.

DHS cited budget cuts as the reason for using what the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has called a “skeleton crew.”

An independent examiner is investigating the 28-year-old man’s hanging. Staff had removed him from the suicide watch list the week before he killed himself.

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