BOSTON (AP) — State records show that dozens of therapists who were unlicensed or improperly supervised routinely treated mentally ill patients at three clinics owned by a major provider of care to low-income Massachusetts residents.

The workers were employed by Arbour Health System. The state found staffing violations at facilities in Lawrence, Malden and Fall River.

The findings last year, described in documents obtained by The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/12d7jSc ) and filed as part of a lawsuit, highlight a system in which low-income patients often are treated by mental health workers with less training and expertise than caregivers for privately-insured patients.

The suit was brought by the parents of a teenager treated at an Arbour facility. They allege their daughter was given improper medications by a nurse working without adequate supervision.

Arbour says the lawsuit is without merit.

___

Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com