Location Seed: The Lyman-Dodgson Mental Wellness Residential Center.

Lyman-Dodgson Mental Wellness Residential Center – Google Docs

Lyman-Dodgson Mental Wellness

Residential Center


The Lyman-Dodgson Mental Wellness Residential Center (usually called Lyman-Dodgson) is a privately owned mental health care residential facility located in upstate New York.  It is fair to call the campus ‘sprawling:’ the property has a forty-bed secure facility, two twenty-bed buildings arranged as four-bedroom suites with a common living space, and seventy townhomes arranged in fourteen buildings. Add to that a combination social space / classroom facility, physical therapy building, a park and outdoor recreational area, a small office building for administration, and a security system that rivals Camp David’s, and you end up with quite the site.

Lyman-Dodgson does not solicit new patients; it instead is brought them by the federal government.  These patients typically suffer from delusions, megalomania, various forms of schizophrenia, and other conditions of that nature, but they’re rarely violent to either themselves or others (the secure facility is rarely even close to full, and mostly used for detoxification).  Residents spend their time in occupational therapy, group therapy, and individualized wellness programs.


Fewer stay longer than about a year and a half; two of the townhouse complexes are dedicated to long-term residents.  The overall success rate of Lyman-Dodgson is off the charts, to the point where it takes some doing to keep the professional community from knowing.  Then again, government patronage can be a useful thing.


As the last sentence might suggest, there’s more to Lyman-Dodgson than meets the idea.  It goes like this: contrary to popular belief, it is not actually difficult for a trained mental health professional to be able to tell the difference between a man with the delusion that he can do magic and a man with the ability to do magic.  They’re also pretty good at parsing the difference between a woman who merely thinks she’s from another dimension and a woman who shows up in a ditch one night wearing strange clothing, carrying odd-looking money, and who has absolutely no paperwork in the system anywhere at all.  So, there are keywords and tells that the people who run emergency facilities look for. When they see enough of them, a certain number gets called. When that happens, a team from a vague-sounding government agency shows up, does their own investigation, and when warranted, they bring the ‘patient’ to Lyman-Dodgson.


Lyman-Dodgson does treat mental conditions; specifically, they treat the sudden shock and mental trauma that arises when somebody discovers that he can do magic, or is now in a parallel dimension, or has psionic powers, or is the Chosen One that must find the lost Gimcrack of MacGuffin and do something tedious with it.  The facility is also good at drying people out who have been dosed up by people who legitimately didn’t know that you really shouldn’t give haloperidol to somebody with psychometry.  Once the facility gets the new patient to a certain equilibrium, Lyman-Dodgson will go on to give him or her whatever assistance is needed to get the patient out the door, and integrated into society.


Usually, ‘integrated into society’ means ‘getting a job with the feds.’ While there was more basic human decency involved with setting up Lyman-Dodgson than you’d might think, it’s certainly true that the government considers it a good investment, as well.  Lyman-Dodgson takes scared, highly dangerous individuals with unique skills, powers, and knowledge, and turns them into stable, functional people who are legitimately grateful for being rescued — and who still have their unique abilities. Such people are easy to recruit, especially when they see you as being one of the rescuers.  Even the ones who don’t want to go on the payroll full-time will generally take a retainer as a consultant; the ones who won’t do even that are generally deemed to be safe enough to be just let go (otherwise, Lyman-Dodgson wouldn’t let them be headhunted in the first place).  Entertainingly, many of the people who at first refuse to work for the government at all at first will later voluntarily make contact again to sign up anyway. It’s amazing how well a light hand can work.


And before anybody ask: why, yes, the people who get assigned living spaces in the suites or townhouses do tend to keep in contact with each other even after they leave.  It’s perfectly natural, since they’re all going through the same adjustment process. And certainly there’s no reason why they might end up all working for the same shadowy subdivision of the same shadowy government agency.  Probably happens all the time, really.


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