What’s going on in the land Down Under? It seems that, more and more, one of the world’s enduring democracies is becoming more like Castro’s Cuba or Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, especially where medical rights are concerned. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the mental health minister for Western Australia has apologized after police arrested a man who was mistaken for a patient from a psychiatric hospital. Cops arrested the man Dec. 16, the report said, because he supposedly fit the description of a patient who walked away from Graylands Hospital in Perth.
It all started when I said something stupid in school. A girl was ignoring me, and I got mad and said, “F-ck this sh-t. I’m gonna do some Virginia Tech sh-t.” I only said it so the girl would pay attention to me. But I shocked all my classmates and teachers, and the school said I’d made a “terrorist threat.”
I was in the 9th grade, and I had recently moved out of an abusive situation with my mom and into a foster home I knew nothing about. I needed someone to listen so I could get my feelings out. But there was no one I could really trust.
My caseworker came to my foster mom’s house and told me that he would take me to KFC and then to a “nice place to get help.” I thought, “OK, that sounds cool. I get my favorite food and I go to a center to feel better.”
The next stop we made was a psychiatric hospital for kids. We went through door after door, and it dawned on me that every door had a lock. Once the door shut you couldn’t open it. The doors locked you in. They intended to keep me here. That realization gave me a panic attack. I started running and the security tackled me. I was forcibly dragged in.
A Chicago psychiatric hospital is under fire from child welfare experts who say the understaffed and overcrowded facility is a dangerous place for children.
A report released Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services details violence and sexual assaults against young patients at Hartgrove Hospital on the city’s West Side, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A Detroit mother lost custody of her daughter after refusing to give her antipsychotic medications, which officials say the teen may not need in the first place. Her mother, Maryanne Godboldo, was accused of medical neglect when her 13-year-old daughter, Ariana, began to have erratic symptoms following a series of vaccinations, and was given an antipsychotic drug by a center for at-risk youth. Godboldo felt that the drug, however, made her daughter worse, and began looking for holistic treatments instead. Child Protective Services then tried to remove Ariana from her home, resulting in a “stand-off” with a police SWAT team during which Godboldo reportedly fired a gun. Ariana is currently at a local psychiatric hospital, where officials say there is no “emergency need” to give her antipsychotic drugs. Even more disturbingly, Ariana has tested positive for an STD, which her father is saying is proof that she was sexually abused while she was at the hospital.
Although the Oregon State Hospital was not specifically named in Ken Kesey’s novel, on which the 1975 Academy-award winning movie was based, it could have been. For its legacy of real abuses spans over a century.
Although the chilling film starring Jack Nicholson is now decades old, it wasn’t until state lawmakers toured the facility in 2004 that they discovered the cremated remains of 3,600 patients who had been locked away and forgotten inside. “You can see the place where they showered. You can see their scratchings on the wall,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney. “They lived there. And then often people forgot them. They just took them there and it was over.”