Name of Hospital: Bon Secours Saint Mary’s
City, State/Province, Country: Richmond, VA, USA
Number of Stars: 2.5
Comment: I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt and was placed in the adult ward, as an 18 year old. Sadly, this location is considered the best in the city. However, I found it horrible and a terrible experience.
When I arrived, I realized all of the patients existed in a state of constant fear. I was told many times not to cry because the doctors would force you to stay longer. It was clear that if you got out of bed and just showed up to the meetings (which, granted, were helpful, but awkward for non-religious participants), they’d let you out. There was a precise formula: you don’t have to get better, but if you participate you can go before the week is over. They didn’t seem to care about betterment. The schedule I was informed of prior to my stay claimed that we would have meetings with a therapist and psychiatrist daily, but meetings were minutes long and simply asked if I still wanted to kill myself. I didn’t feel heard at all. It felt like checking boxes.
Also, communication was terrible. I informed a doctor that my overdose was on NyQuil and that was my reason for being there, yet the psychiatrist was convinced I attempted an OD on my antidepressant and refused me my medication for days, ignoring my word completely. I felt even more hopeless without it because I knew every day it was leaving my system and it would be harder to start again. Religion was permeating– a nurse made me change a channel because of cursing.
Lastly, I didn’t appreciate the resources there. Nothing was available to distract patients except a feeble box of crayons and a copy of a random Narnia book. How can you cope when you can’t occupy your mind? Lastly, I met a man there who was a veteran and was humiliated because he had been homeless and had no clothes to wear but the hospital robe. Another patient’s parent attempted to bring him a pair of clothes and the nurse was deeply rude, refusing at first to give them to him, because she didn’t want to reinforce community between sick individuals. As a suicidal woman, all I wanted to do was get out, so I went to the classes and was out quick, despite feeling emotionally empty and hopeless my entire stay.
Overall impression: lackluster, but good enough if severely in need. All complaints are pretty superficial.
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient