Name of Hospital: East Kootenay Regional Hospital
City, State/Province, Country: Cranbrook, BC, Canada
Number of Stars: 2
Comment: my experience was a couple of years ago so my memory is kinda fuzzy but this is what i remember: i spent a night in the ER and in the morning was visited by a psychiatrist who forcibly institutionalized me, despite me expressing that i felt better and wanted to go home. they did respect my ‘preferred name’ which i appreciated and there was a doctor who took my cardiograph who actually was well-educated about non-binary identities (we had an awesome conversation about it). there was a small entertainment room with a PS2 (with a subpar games library tbh but it’s something to keep you occupied), a common seating room with a TV and an eating room (with free access to a coffee maker and bread and condiments) attached, single-person bedrooms, and a phone to call people whenever you want pre-curfew.
there were no group therapy activities that i recall nor do i remember if there was a courtyard or something similar to access outdoors without a written slip from your assigned psychiatrist to let you out of the hospital for a limited time. once at the ward i was told by a nurse that if i was having a crisis i would be allowed my phone to access the internet, being that that’s where my support network is primarily based, but they doubled back on their promise once i actually had a breakdown. the nurses treat you like you’re not even human – i felt they were extremely condescending.
i was a youth btw at the time and was the youngest person by 20 years at least, there is no specialized youth unit. there were a couple of times that a nurse would argue with a patient aggressively and i felt like i was unable to approach the staff for reassurance, which forced me to lock myself in the games room and have a paranoid meltdown while the fight ran its course. i’m unsure about how quick the staff are to use restraints or forced treatment since i didn’t stay long enough to find out (i only went for a day and a half thankfully). the meals were kind of mushy and gross but, iirc they gave you slips to check off meal accomodations like vegan food or sensory issues with certain foods.
the psychiatrist i saw was gaslighting, invalidating and disrespectful about my gender (he regularly referred to me as ‘a girl wanting to be a man’ [disclaimer i’m not actually a trans boy, i’m a nonbinary lesbian but was interested in hrt at the time so i lied to him about that] and, i don’t recall the exact words but said something to the effect of ‘your gender dysphoria is causing these symptoms to present in you so you don’t actually have [mental illness i was trying to get diagnosed with at the time]’). overall i think 2 stars is fair, because from my experience it’s not the scariest a ward can get but going there did nothing for my mental health and only made it worse at the time.
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient
Any other identities/marginalizations i.e. race/gender/sexuality that could have influenced your stay?: other than being transgender i don’t believe so. i am lesbian and indigenous / white but i wasn’t out to them and i’m white passing so i don’t believe it influenced my stay at all