Psychiatric Hospitals a Camouflaged Danger to Patients and Staff

by | Apr 11, 2013

Psychiatric ward
Some believe a psychiatric hospital is the only option for treating a person with severe mental or behavioral issues.
But if psychiatric hospitals still conjure up images of abuse reminiscent of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, it may be for a good reason.
For instance, Hartgrove Psychiatric Hospital in Chicago reported sexual assault and physical attacks on children as recently as 2011. In one six-month period, 100 violent incidents were reported. This same hospital did not even allow family members to drop in unless they had an appointment. In other words, with this policy, abuse could be easily hidden from loved ones.
There was talk of shutting down the facility, through the protests of the hospital which issued this statement: “Hartgrove is proud of its track record that spans more than 50 years. The hospital has many more success stories to its credit than the negative ones highlighted in the report.”
If but a single child had been injured on the watch of this hospital, this bragging statement would be shameful. But the fact that 100 children had been violently abused would more than negate any of their so-called “success stories.”
This psychiatric hospital is not alone in creating dangers for the mentally ill.
There have been many reported incidents of psychiatric patients dying after being restrained, a common enough occurrence. This includes dozens of children’s deaths, some of them less than 10 years old.
The following incident is from “The National Review of Restraint Related Deaths of Children and Adults with Disabilities: The Lethal Consequences of Restraint.”
Justin was just 9 years old and weighed 104 pounds when he was admitted to a residential treatment center for children. When he refused to follow a counselor’s instructions and became abusive, he was pushed against a door, pulled to the floor and was held on his back with a 200 pound staffer lying across his chest. Justin died from the restraint. The coroner deemed this a homicide.
The dangers of the psychiatric hospital are world-wide, and include a 2011 report from Sacramento. This report indicated bluntly that “California mental hospitals are dangerous.” It was stated that in 2010 there were 8,000 aggressive incidents which led to over 5,000 injuries.
And not all of the victims are psychiatric patients.
In fact, since over 90% of psychiatric patients have been arrested or convicted of crimes, the hospital staff is not safe either.
The psychiatric solution?
Improve staff to patient ratio, come up with units to handle the most violent of the patients and police the grounds more thoroughly.
Interestingly, finding effective ways to treat the source of the mental illness is never addressed. And with today’s commonly used antipsychotic drugs creating violent behavior, it is no wonder psychiatric hospitals today are a hellish nightmare.
The pain, mental deterioration and death created by doctors and their staff in psychiatric hospitals have been relatively hidden from view. With the hard light of truth shining in the dark corridors of these institutions, psychiatry’s secret atrocities will no longer go to the graves with its victims.


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