Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital

Name of Facility: Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: Admitted involuntarily through the emergency room, and against my stated wishes on my advance directive not to be sent to this particular hospital, i was secluded for almost all of the three and a half weeks i was kept there. Although they told ke the room was not “seclusion” only a “quiet room” when i left it and walked down the hallway alone, looked out a window and went back to the room, i was instructed to lie on the bed for restraints, because “you do not follow directions”. Two female nurses restrained me, and injected me in the buttocks with 2 drugs to put me to sleep, and despite my sleeping, they kept me in 4-point restraints for 19 hours. Each time i woke, i asked to be released, but they refused, only injected me again and put me back to sleep. This happened on multiple occasions until my outpatient doctor was so alarmed that i could not meet the criteria for release even from seclusion that she had a consultant meet with me in the absence of my in-patient doctor, and when she simply asked if i wanted to go home, i said, “yes,” and she proceeded to process my discharge. This was only 6 hours after having been released from 4-point restraints and directly from seclusion.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: Schizophrenia diagnosis

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2013

Hospital of Central Connecticut

Name of Facility: Hospital of Central Connecticut

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): New Britain, Connecticut, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: I was admitted involuntarily through the Emergency Department and kept in a video monitored room alone the entire four week stay, not permitted utensils to eat food with, bodily escorted to seclusion for “disturbing the milieu” on multiple occasions by guards who were instructed to “inflict pain in order to subdue” me quickly, even though i did not resist. Also on multiple occasions the nurses stripped me naked in seclusion and refused me any covering or blanket for warmth. When i resisted, the male guards 4-point restrained me, in a spread eagle position, to a gurney, still naked, and as was the procedure, injected me with three drugs in the buttocks. Then when i continued to ask to be covered, they put a draw sheet over me, but refused a blanket even though the nurses were shivering with the cold. When i complained about this treatment to the doctor, he said, “You are lying. They would never do that.” But in fact they did these things repeatedly and he was not there to witness it.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): Inpatient

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: Mutism (chronic but intermittent)

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2014

News Articles on Whiting Forensic Division (Connecticut Valley Hospital)

Name of Hospital: Whiting Forensic Division (Connecticut Valley Hospital)

Location: Middletown, CT, USA


Natchaug Hospital

Name of Hospital: Natchaug Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Mansfield, CT, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: Mixed Gendered Adolescent Ward

When first arriving everyone watches you and everyone is very interested in your appearance. They do intake questions in the main area or a room to the side, they do a injury check with same gendered people. Depending on the time you arrive you either get blood drawn that day or early the next morning. Everyone has their own room, there is no sharing and the rooms are okay. Shoelaces are often taken, there is no strings allowed on clothing. Socks are to be worn at all time. No electronics or jewelry allowed. Most bating products will be kept by staff. No razors allowed. No makeup.

The bathrooms are terrible as the staff have to open them, and there is always a risk of the bathroom being opened while you’re in there so it’s not the best for people with anxiety. Also only two of the three showers work well. The handicapped bathroom’s shower doesn’t work and is freezing, nicknamed the waterfall. The middle bathroom is warmish and doesn’t have a nickname. The third shower is called the screamer, because while in use it makes a loud pitched noise, and is generally hot. (this is the shower I would use because you could tell when someone’s there and no one will try to enter, still only taking very short showers though). If you’re a person who gets a period there is tampons and pads available but they’re in a public area and it’s a bit embarrassing, though if you ask a female staff member they will get it for you and hand it to you when unlocking the bathroom.

The staff works in three shifts, morning, evening, and like after hours (after everyone is asleep and before they wake up). Some of the staff is nice but the majority doesn’t seem to care about the patients or their needs. Specialized care is rare unless rules are broken and they seem to like treating everyone like they have the same issues. For example I had to fight with staff every morning because I had permission to skip breakfast so I could take a shower while the other kids were at breakfast because my anxiety was so bad. They would never believe I had permission and I would have to go to the nurse at the desk and have them show my chart. The nurse’s were very nice and considerate, some of the few people who actually cared about the patients. The doctors that are available during the weekend are usually better than the ones that are around during the week. It takes a while for doctors to see you, social workers are generally nice. You have a doctor doctor who prescribes medication and a therapist. Therapist’s are more readily available to talk to. When there are groups usually its a therapist, staff member, or a specialized group lady.

Group is usually just to keep you busy when there isn’t school or free time. There were groups A and B, the groups don’t do many activities together but they do at some times. Groups are boring and not very helpful. There are sometimes specialized groups for people who are dealing with similar issues.

School is Monday through Friday for a few hours. The school building is not connected to the adolescent ward so everyone walks through the garden to get to the school building. There’s three classrooms, one for english/math/health, one for history/science, and one for art/gym (as of the last time I went there the guy who teaches history/science is the fun teacher). Depending on what group you’re in you’ll be in one of the main classrooms for homeroom. There is one bathroom there. At school you either work on things your school sends or you do the work the teachers assign. Sometimes they will allow you to work in the hallway instead of in the class. There is a quiet room where you can take a break if needed. Gym class isn’t fun and art is okay.

Food. There is very specific rules for the cafeteria, only two to a table, no loud conversations, you have to present all silverware before throwing out your food. Sometimes the volume gets loud and the staff will scream and make it so no one is allowed to talk. There is hot water for tea, lunch and dinner there is juice. If you can’t eat the main dish there are sandwiches or salads (it’s like a salad bar) there is also fruit and yogurt. It’s a basic school lunchroom design.

Visitation. Visits are after dinnertime and take place in the cafeteria next to the cafeteria the adolescents eat in. You can deny visits. Only parents and siblings can visit, and only people over 18. Everything has to be searched before you can have it. Sometimes parents will go on ward to talk to therapists with you, but it is not common.

Free time. During free time you can sleep, read, hang out in the common area and draw or play cards. Drawing is supervised and you cannot have actual pencils or markers in your room. Journaling is encouraged but you cannot show what you write to other patients. Sometimes there’s an option to use the music room or go off ward to watch a movie or play video games. There is a video game room with a wii and an xbox. On ward there is also a pay phone where you can call your friends or your friends can call you if that’s something you’re interested in. There is a movie night and an ice cream sunday night. On occasion therapy dogs will come in.

Since this is an adolescent ward with both girls and boys there is a lot of drama. Some people try to get into relationships or make out. This is a bad idea, friendships in the hospital are okay but don’t try to date someone from the hospital. People are often really mean to each other and there is a definite split of groups.

I didn’t feel like there was a big focus on getting better but mainly a focus on distracting us and getting us on medication. I always felt ignored by the staff. I was there through Christmas and they do try to be inclusive of all religions. Also are good with lgbt+

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: pansexual

Year(s) : 2012, 2014

Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital

Name of Hospital: Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: New Haven, CT, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: The other review of this place is pretty spot on, so here are some highlights from my stay about a year ago in the ~under 26 years old unit. On sanitary conditions- the hospital is disgusting. Nurses are unbelievably lazy. Two patients were very ill while I was there. The first guy was older and in a room by himself. I heard a nurse yell at him that he had to clean his own vomit out of his bed because she wouldn’t and if she didn’t he would have to sleep in it. He was bedridden for most of his stay.

The other guy was constantly shitting himself, leaving lines of shit everywhere and shit covered pants and vomit in the communal garbage cans, and the nurses would just leave it to fester for EVER. The second sick guy had a healthy roommate who had to stay in that room with him while he was shitting himself and vomiting in bed all night. He was at risk for getting that sick. I also was made to clean the bed of the person who had it before me, and put out their linens. When I left I found out this was against policy, and also just disgusting.

There was a girl there who I personally witnessed a nurse throw to the ground and beat, who was kept locked alone in her room almost 24/7, who was sedated beyond belief and otherwise abused. She wasn’t violent or anything, I talked to her. They wouldn’t let her have any visitors or use the phone other than her dad, who obviously didn’t care she was being abused or didn’t believe her. I reported this, nothing changed according to someone from my IOP who had been there a month or so after me. I can only assume the doctor’s know and do not care.

There was a trans man there while I was there. Not only did the staff refuse to call him anything but his deadname, but would reprimand anyone who called him anything but his deadname on account of they don’t allow “street names”. Some nurses were also insistent that we use she/her pronouns, but not all. Because he was trans he was made to sleep alone in his own room. Because nurses would often confine us to our rooms for a few hours a day when they were feeling lazy or smth, he basically had solitary confinement. There are not books or anything for you to do that you can take back to your room and his family didn’t bring him anything.

I had to move rooms because they were moving me and my roommate into a quad because he had to have his own room, and we were the only 17+ girls in a double who could go with the 2 17+ girls in the quad, and they basically gave us this information and the impression like it was his fault that we had to move. They almost created a situation where he was singled out and bullied. I’m a lesbian and someone who had been there longer and was bi told me to stay in the closet while I was there or the same thing would happen to me, but I have no verification on that. The patients who I told I was gay were okay about it, as okay as people usually are.

There were board games and like 2 groups per day. Some of the groups were nice, like meditation, but mostly it was just talking. Sometimes if the nurses didn’t like you they would force you to go to your room all during group and tell the occupational therapist you weren’t coming, and the occupational therapist would mark it as if you were being noncompliant. I don’t know if he knew that was what was up, but I reported it so.

The doctors also didn’t do me any good. They saw me about 3 times, didn’t listen to me, minimized what I was saying at all times, and treated me like a child. They didn’t care that I didn’t feel safe- there was a nurse there who called us “inmates”, mocked us, and would jab people hard enough to bruise. Another one would mock patients and gossip about their confidential information while everyone was in the group area loud enough we could all hear and call us “pathetic”. They misdiagnosed me, and put me on meds that didn’t work but I had to take them or I was “noncompliant”. They didn’t care that I didn’t feel safe- there was a nurse there who called us “inmates”, mocked us, and would jab people hard enough to bruise. Another one would mock patients and gossip about their confidential information while everyone was in the group area loud enough we could all hear and call us “pathetic”.

I also feel strongly that I should have been put straight into IOP, and did not fulfill the requirements to be committed. They tricked me into signing the forms but lying to me and saying if I didn’t it would be involuntary. I would definitely refer to their tactics as coercive. I have thousands of dollars in bills for being traumatized.

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’m white, cis, lesbian, atheist. Transphobia above, as far as the atheism goes one of their questions to determine suicidality was “Do you believe in a higher power” and if you said no they counted it against you. That wasn’t a huge deal to me though.

St. Francis Behavioral Health

Name of Hospital: St. Francis Behavioral Health

City, State/Province, Country: Hartford, CT US

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: Inadequate juvenile care. Staff did not seem to have a response to anger other than “talk” and medication. Despite extreme anger and aggressive behavior, discharge was imminent before throwing a mug at my father. That bought more time inpatient.

As an outpatient, I had no clear diagnosis, was given four different classes of drugs at high doses despite their ineffectiveness. The result was extreme fatigue resulting in sleeping through classes, more than 100 pound weight gain, and feeling that something was wrong with me that could not be fixed. My father repeatedly advocated to stop some of the drugs, but the psychiatrist would throw up his arms as if he would withdraw any help.

Fortunately, I changed doctors. The new psychiatrist stopped all medications and I felt a great relief without any worsening of symptoms.

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