Mental health workers feel threatened –

RALEIGH — Two workers from state mental hospitals told legislators Wednesday that a zero-tolerance policy intended to protect patients from abuse and neglect has led to increased violence against staff.

Lanier Cansler, secretary of health and human services, established the policy last year after reports of hospital staff’s neglecting, beating or sexually assaulting patients. He says the policy is working, though he concedes employees need further training on how to deal with violent patients safely.

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