The flight of a mental patient from a Generations care facility and his subsequent altercation with law enforcement in the middle of Nashville Highway is a rarity, according to Jim Ramsey who says over 100 Generations patients live quietly within the community.
“We have nine facilities in Warren County with over 100 clients,” said Ramsey, who serves as the vice president for resource development and communication for Generations. The company provides care for people with mental issues, ranging from depression to schizophrenia. “We are able to take our patients to events, even to places like the Chattanooga Aquarium. Some even attend my church. They are not dangerous people.”
Ramsey said the recent incident involving a patient who walked away from one of the facilities on Crisp Springs Road may have given some people a negative view of Generations. In the case he was referring to, a patient left the facility and threatened deputies with a wooden table leg when they tried to take him into custody as he walked down the middle of the road on Nashville Highway.
“We do take safety precautions, but we are not allowed to physically return them to the home,” Ramsey said. “In most cases, if a patient begins to leave the grounds, our techs can talk them back. The recent case was a real rarity.”
Ramsey said he suspects the man was having an adverse reaction to medication causing his erratic behavior.
Generation facilities include one near downtown McMinnville, along with four near Morrison and four near Centertown. They are all manned around the clock by technicians. Ramsey said to get to know the clients of the Generation homes is something special.
“Once you get to know them, they get a very special place in your heart,” Ramsey said, noting Generations depends on community support to help make it a success.