These are letters and emails thanking CCHR Florida for the help provided to families:
“Thanks for sending the documents, for all of your help and encouragement, and for being so accessible when I felt utterly helpless. The Baker Act Facility wore my daughter down until she finally agreed to take the 30-day time-released dose of Abilify despite the side effects she had from just one pill. They released her late Friday afternoon. She is ready to sue and to take any other action possible against the local hospital, where she went to the emergency department, the Baker Act Facility, and the psychiatrist who coerced her to take a dangerous antipsychotic that she does not need. I will put her in touch with you on Monday. She of course knows the full details of her experience and can give you a more coherent account than I was able to provide. Again, I greatly appreciate your support and genuine concern.”
A.C. called because his son was Baker Acted. C. C., 12, is a good student, never in any trouble, but he had a number of minor problems and setbacks and it all came to a head on 11/1/23 when he ‘lost it’ after being told his phone was being taken away and he stated several times that he wanted to kill himself due to this. His parents were alarmed and brought him to the ER at a local hospital, where he was Baker Acted. He was taken at 6 am on 11/2/23 to a Baker Act Facility where it all looked good at first, but then our son discovered that he was surrounded by children with profound and potentially dangerous conditions including drug addiction, sexual aggressiveness, etc. The psychiatrist who examined him first told the parents that he didn’t really think our son needed to be there but they’d like to keep him awhile to give him some therapy, which made sense at the time to the parents. However, he did not get any therapy and was terrified. His father found an attorney’s number on Google and left a message for him and also called us. In the meantime, the father was educated on the law and we gave him a care plan, excerpts, instructions, and resources and stressed that if he had any problems at all to call the attorney and to follow his instructions exactly, and if there was any push-back to call the lawyer’s office in the presence of the administrator. UPDATE: The boy was released on November 3, 2023. His mother said, “Because of your very thorough and excellent instructions, our son is coming home with us tonight! Thank you!”
A mom called because her daughter had been Baker Acted. Her daughter, 12, has been diagnosed with autism and is under the care of a psychiatrist. She had an argument with her mother before school on 10/13/23, and for some reason apparently wrote a note to her teacher stating that she was very sad and had thoughts of suicide. The school decided to Baker Act her, it is unclear if a crisis intervention team was brought in. The school called the mother, who was a well-known volunteer and officer in the PTO, after her child was already on her way to a Baker Act Facility. The mother was educated on the law, sent a Care Plan, excerpts, instructions and resources. UPDATE: The girl was released on 10/14/23. Her mother said: “Hello, I am at the facility now, we met with the Dr. and the therapist, she is being discharged now. I sincerely appreciate all your help. I will get with you next week so we can file the complaint and move forward in the hopes this never happens again to us or any other family. Thank-you so much.”
“Our grandson has been discharged and is on the way home. My son and daughter-in-law were very persistent yesterday and today. It took an evaluation by a different doctor today to get the discharge. What a mess of a process with everyone pointing fingers at someone else! Thanks so much for the education and guidance. Without your advice I expect my grandson would have been kept for the full 72 hours since that is clearly their default approach. Best regards,”
“Dear CCHR Florida Team, I am writing to express my heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional work done by Eileen Heishman in her capacity as Abuse Case Director. Her kind approach, detailed Care Plan, and genuine care made a world of a difference for me and my family during a difficult time. My 82 year old father was Baker Acted due to a misunderstanding by the medical staff and I was lost not knowing how to advocate for him. They wouldn’t let me see him or let him go home. I called your organization at midnight, desperate to find any guidance.
Eileen promptly called me in the morning and provided a light during some of the darkest times in our lives. She acknowledged how difficult it must be for me and reassured me that she would send everything in writing. Which she did, communicating with me multiple times during the day and answering my questions. I believe Eileen’s outstanding work has had a transformative impact on my family. It is evident she goes above and beyond upholding your organization’s values.
Given my lack of experience with Baker Act laws it was difficult to deal with the hospital but in the end, they just let my father go home, after just 30 hours. I firmly believe this was a result of my ability to advocate for him as a direct consequence of the work of your organization and Eileen’s impeccable guidance. I want to extend my sincere gratitude on behalf of myself, my father, and entire family. Thank you ALL for the invaluable work that you do. With gratitude, M. and the family”