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Mental health center for women abruptly ceases operations

Most businesses show signs of financial weakness before they cease operations or declare bankruptcy. Occasionally, a business will close without prior warning to employees or clients and commence a business bankruptcy proceeding. A high-end mental health treatment center in Auburn, near Knoxville, that focused on female clients recently closed its doors with no advance warning to clients or employees.

Brookhaven Retreat was a private facility that treated women with addiction and other mental health issues. The center charged roughly $40,000 - $50,000 for a 30-day stay. Its advertising touted fine cuisine, equine therapy and individualized treatment. It received national attention when it treated pop singer and actress Selena Gomez in 2016.

At 8:35 a.m. on March 5, 2019, clients and employees of Brookhaven received a terse e-mail from the Center's owner that said that the center was closing immediately "due to circumstances beyond our control." No explanation was offered. The e-mail also ordered employees and clients to vacate the premises by 5:00 p.m. The center's website was reported to have been disabled. Employees told reporters that they had been informed that the owner was selling the Center, but no word of the proposed transaction was mentioned in the shut-down announcement. The company said that it was filing a petition in bankruptcy. About 40 employees are unpaid for work performed in the past three weeks. No further information regarding the Center's financial condition was made available.

An inquiry with the state of Tennessee showed that the Center had all permits that were required for its operations and that its license was valid through May 31, 2019. At this point, the causes of the Center's demise are subject to a great deal of speculation. The Center's creditors will no doubt seek answers during the bankruptcy proceeding.

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