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No mental health treatment available at hospital, so they automatically give you a 72 hour hold? Our local hospital closed the psychiatric unit.They no longer pay psychiatrists to be on call. They do not even allow any psychiatrists to have privileges at the hospital. This creates a situation where anyone presenting with ANY sort of mental health issue will be automatically put on a 72 hour hold, and involuntarily transported out of town to the nearest available facility. So someone walks into the ER expecting help, and the only option for the hospital is to force a person, against their will, into a prison-like facility, possibly receiving appropriate treatment. Or, as most often happens, they are held for the allowable amount of time paid by medicaid, then released without any actual treatment for their disease. How can you walk in a patient, and leave a prisoner with no access to legal aid, family, communication, advocacy etc.? Is it legal to turn a patient into a prisoner with at most minimal involvement from the medical and legal communities. In Colorado it only takes a nurse, a neighbor, to call the police to start a 72 hour hold. AT the hospital it is only a bachelor's educated social worker who determines your fate as a free person. How can this be legal? How can you advocate for these patients?
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Thanks, great answer!
Is there any way I can access information detailing how many 72 hour holds one hospital has produced since the closure of their psych unit?
Is there any information that the hospital must make public? or any question that they could be compelled to answer?
I know from being a mental health advocate in town that there has been an astonishing number of people who have been taken from their home by the police in cuffs, spent whole days waiting in the ER to be sent somewhere that may be very remote from our location for three days of observation. People have been left to fend for themselves upon release, hundreds of miles from family or friends, with no money or transportation as a result of LUH's policies. People who were not a danger to themselves or others, but were depressed enough to need some sort of help - at most a referral to a psychiatrist. Not a full blown involuntary hold which often ruins their lives as they lose their jobs as a result of being disappeared for 3-4 days. You have civil rights in a mental facility only when they are granted to you as a result of producing desired behavior. I know people who have simply faked an improvement to avoid potential disasterous complications from electroshock administered involuntarily.
I feel like we're heading back into the dark ages.
How to get specific info from a hospital? Any suggestions?
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