Northside Mental Health Center

Name of Hospital: Northside Mental Health Center

City, State/Province, Country: Tampa, FL, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: I was admitted to Northside after a family member called 911 after a suicide attempt. This family member’s intent was not for me to be admitted, but to be given a physical evaluation and then discharged to stay with my therapist (which he explained, repeatedly, to the medical staff he talked to). When the ambulance and police arrived, I was told that I was going to be admitted and that I could either volunteer to go with them since I admitted to what happened, or I could go in handcuffs and risk getting a criminal charge. I volunteered to go with them.

I was first put in admissions through St. Joseph’s hospital, in their psychiatric patient center. I was there for roughly 10-12 hours waiting to figure out what would happen, and got questioned a lot in a sleep-deprived, anxiety-driven state of disorientation. After the second or third questioning I was told that I would be transferred to Northside since they were the only psych facility with beds.

The transfer to Northside was not that bad, and the admitting tech was super nice. The nurses and day techs were also nice for the most part, while the night techs took the chance to make fun of me as much as possible (especially when I would ask for my religious texts or carry a small plush animal that they let me have around). We were only allowed to go outside for 15-20 minute increments a few times a day (although one particular tech would give us up to an hour because he felt that 20 minutes was too short)… As someone with seasonal depression this worsened that by a lot.

I only met with the psychiatrist three times: once for a general history check, once to tell me what meds I’d be given, and once to tell me I was being discharged. I was not part of group therapy or any extensive inpatient activities or programs; my stay was only 3.5 days. I wish I could have done group therapy at least once but people with longer-term stays were priority for that. We were not allowed to sleep or shower except at certain times and if we didn’t eat at certain times we didn’t eat at all. The shower water was also extremely cold and gave me bruises, and the medications I was prescribed actually could have killed me. Visiting hours were also super restricted, and I got yelled at for holding hands with my husband. Healthy affection from visitors was super prohibited and I felt like that greatly hindered treatment.

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 don’t think my race or sexuality influenced my treatment at all. My religious affiliation, however, caused one nurse to better advocate for me and most of the techs to make fun of me and ask if that’s why I was there.

Year(s) : 2014

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