Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Purpose of this Blog


Public mental health treatment in America is a recurring nightmare.

The goal of this blog is do document the truth about what happens to people who enter the public mental health system.

We are looking for two types of information:

(1) Summaries of news articles that document abuse in the mental health system

(2) First person (or assisted first person) articles about experiences with the public mental health system

If you would like to contribute, please click on How to write for "Mental Health Investigations" blog.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Falsified records in Brooklyn psychatric death prompt criminal investigation

"The reason why this woman died the way she did was that there is a culture of indifference that permeates every aspect of KCHC psychiatric care, nothing short of that"
Robert Cohen
Partner Kirkland & Ellis Llp,

Investigators are looking into criminal charges, because a female psychiatric patient died last month in the Kings County Hospital Center.

Employees appear to have falsified hospital records, which claim the the patient was awake and going to the bathroom when, in fact, a video shows she was laying face down on the floor.


(1) Destefano, Anthony. "Investigators probe death of woman in Brooklyn hospital --" Long Island and New York City news from - A Long Island Newspaper -- 2 July 2008. 6 July 2008. <,0,4276078.story>.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How to write for "Mental Health Investigations" blog


The staff of Mental Health Investigations blog encourages everyone to post.

We publish submissions from professional writers, people who have never written for publication, and everyone in between.

Categories of submissions

We publish two general categories of submissions:

  1. Personal stories
  2. Summaries of published information
Guidelines for writing a personal story

-- Personal stories can be any length. They should be about you, someone you know, or someone you have interviewed. Your story must be true.

-- The goal of the "Mental Health Investigations" is to tell the truth about what happens in the American public mental health system.

-- We are looking for as many personal stories as possible, in order to create an accurate and believeable picture of the public mental health system, because multiple stories that make the same point give each other crediblity.

-- Your story should be factual. If you (or someone you know) had an experience with the public mental health system, you, we want you to talk about how that experience made you (or them) feel; but we are not interested in publishing third persona editoritials.

-- We will respect your confidentiality. If you to publish anonymously, we will reveal none of your personal details.

Guidelines for writing a news story summary

-- There is a critical need for news story summaries. Summaries should contain a short description of an article that appeared in print and/or on the internet, and references that would enable a researcher or interested reader to locate the article in the future.

-- Many small and medium sized newspapers do not make their archives available on the Web. They publish stories about abuse in mental health facilities. Our goal is to capture this information when it is published, or it may be lost forever.

-- Please respect copyrights. We are happy to accept links to full stories that appear on the internet; but without the publisher's permission, we will publish only a summary and a link to the original story.

-- Citations can be one of the following:
  • MLA Style Citation
  • APA Style Citation
  • Chicago Style Citation
We encourage MLA, but any of the above is fine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Missouri hospital worker "troubled" by death of mentally ill patient

The Missouri Department of Mental Health is investigating the death of Timothy Davis at DePaul Health Center, a privately run facility in Bridgeton Missouri.

On January 8, Jessie Thompson, another mentally disabled man, died in a private facility, shortly after taking a shower.

The death occurs at a time when family members are calling for publicly run habitation centers for the mentally ill to remain open.

Betty Coll, a longtime advocate for the mentally disabled, wrote a letter to Dorn Schuffman, Director Missouri Department of Mental Health, in which she asked 9 questions, which included :
  • Why is this happening?
  • Where is the evidence this will save money?
But critics of the department say Ms. Coll's questions were never adequately answered.

see comments of Betty Coll

(1) Tuft, Carolyn. "Feds' inquiry in Ga. mental hospitals could take months." St Louis Post-Dispatch 01 February 2008. 12 February 2008 <>.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Jersey mental patient says she was "treated like an animal"

A former patient at a New Jersey mental hosptial says a mental health worker stomped on her face.

According to Meghan Boland, "I was treated like I was just an animal. And I wasn't. I was sick, and I needed help. I needed to learn about my mental illness."

Also, says Boland, the responsible staff worker was not fired, "They move them and give people back their jobs because they're in a union. They should only hire people who have experience and education in the field, not just people coming off the street looking for work."

Responding to Ms. Boland's accusations, union leader Robert Ruffin said, "We're not saying that all of our staff are perfect. But we are saying that we have excellent staff here . . . What we get as a union is whatever they've hired and whatever they've made full-time. Hell, we've had managers mistreat patients."


(1) Guenther,Alan. "Former patient claims abuse by staff member." The Daily Journal 18 January 2008. 10 February 2008 <>.

(2) Guenther,Alan. "New facts emerge in Ancora suicide." The Daily Journal 18 January 2008. 10 February 2008 <>.

Justice Department, 48 page letter criticizes Oregon mental hospitals

The Oregon hospitals failed to protect patients from harm and to provide proper treatment, according to a 48 page letter from the United States Justice Department to Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

The letter list the following charges against Oregon State Hospital:
  1. Fails to adequately protect its patients from harm
  2. Fails to provide appropriate psychiatric and psychological care and treatment
  3. Fails to use seclusion and restraints a manner consistent with generally accepted professional standards
  4. Fails to provide adequate nursing care
  5. Fails to provide discharge planning and to ensure placement in the most integrated setting

According to Oregon mental health advocate Angela Kimball, "It laid bare the complete lack of basic care."

See the Justice Department Letter at .


(1) Judd, Alan. "Feds' inquiry in Ga. mental hospitals could take months." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 01 February 2008. 10 February 2008 <>.

(2) Maxey Robin. "Senate President to Create State Hospital Oversight Committee." Office of Senate President, State of Oregon 16 January 2008. 17 February 2008 < >.