PEMHS (Personal Enrichment through Mental Health)

Name of Hospital: PEMHS (Personal Enrichment through Mental Health)

City, State/Province, Country: Pinellas Park, FL, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: I was brought to this facility by the police after my mom called them to find me when I had run away from her. The police hand cuffed my hands and ankles and used a zip tie to tie both sets of hand cuffs to each other behind my back. I was dropped into the police car horizontally where I rolled and nearly fell at each turn since I was not held by a seatbelt. Once arriving at PEMHS I was greeted by a giddy man with a shot to sedate me.

The last thing I remembered as I was led through the room was a young man asking me if I had ever had sex with a black man. I awoke about seven hours later in a dark, dank room that smelled of death. There was a woman, passed out in the bed next to me. I ran out as quickly as I could to not be sick. Most of the other people were men who paced and circled the large room which had nothing other than tables and chairs, a TV, and playing cards. The staff was just two men standing in the room watching and talking amongst themselves.

I saw the “psychiatrist” once who was kept in a tiny, dimly lit room, piled high with unorganized papers and books. I had no faith in the man. I was told to shower and was only given a washcloth, no soap, and no change of clothes. The bathroom door did not close and there was no curtain on the shower. I quickly rinsed as other inmates watched. It was horrifying.

I received a call from my family through a pay phone and was later transferred to another building which felt much different. The building was freezing and the patients were easier to relate to. I received absolutely no treatment at this facility except from the brief friendships formed with the other patients. I felt as if there was no reason why I should have been taken in the first place and stayed for seven days. Once discharged I requested my medical record and was told to call another phone number which led me nowhere. After several attempts, I have yet to receive my records.

Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: I was a young, Hispanic, female and was a victim of sexual harassment by an employee in a filthy facility of 98% males

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