St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Name of Facility: St Elizabeth’s Medical Center (Brighton)

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Boston, MA, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: At first the hospital seemed professional, but after my first night I realized I had made a horrible mistake coming here.

First off, when I woke up, a psychiatrist misidentified me as my roommate, and then got angry when I told her who I was. There was nothing therapeutic here. Just lots of medication and angry nurses.

Two people filed complaints while I was there. One was because the doctors would not allow the patient to take their prescribed medication, causing them to go through withdrawal.

I watched as patients screamed and cried. All were ignored by the staff. There was no group meetings, no therapy. I saw a psychiatrist for a total of 5 minutes during my stay. They diagnosed me with two disorders I do not have.  Other patients followed me around and corned me into rooms, and grabbed me. The staff did nothing.

As I signed myself out, fearing my own safety, I was threatened to be involuntarily committed. The patients and I were all treated like prisoners. It was so traumatic. I just wanted some help. I did not get any help.

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

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2017

Harrington Co-Occurring Disorders Unit

Name of Facility: Harrington Co-Occurring Disorders Unit

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Webster, MA, USA

Number of Stars: 5

Description of Experience: The facility was the cleanest place I’d ever been in but didn’t feel sterile. The nurses and MHAs, with one exception, were perfect about respecting my gender, with one going above and beyond to help me. I actually learned helpful things in OT/group and the psychiatrist there really cared. I felt very safe and I was able to open up about some of my trauma for the first time. I’m glad that I went there.

Type of Program (inpatient, outpatient, residential, etc.): inpatient (self check-in, later sectioned)

Anything that might have impacted your stay? i.e. being LGBTQ+: nonverbal, Autistic, trans woman, PTSD, schizoaffective

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): April 2017

News Articles on VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System

Name of Hospital: VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System

Location: Leeds/Northampton, MA, USA

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News Articles on Arbour Hospital

Name of Hospital: Arbour Hospital

Location: Jamaica Plain, MA, USA

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St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

Name of Hospital: St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center

City, State/Province, Country: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Number of Stars: 3

Comment: I was treated frustratingly upon my intake. I was required to strip fully naked and submit to a physical exam, which occurred about 15-20 minutes after my very emotional transfer to the ward. They wanted to take my sweatpants away, for having a drawstring, leaving me in itchy scrubs for the duration of my stay, but acquiesced when I suggested just cutting the string out. That was not a reassuring moment for my confidence in their common sense.

The rest of my stay (6 days) was acceptable, except for the part where I saw blatant neglect from the staff. My roommate told me that she had borderline personality disorder and had been inpatient there for a while (some months). At one point she fell and hit her head on the ground and none of the staff even moved.

About five minutes later, upon realizing that she still wasn’t getting up, the staff started to help her, including calling for medical assistance from outside the ward. Upon the imminent arrival of the medical team, one of the psychiatric team members rushed around distributing gloves, as if the requirement had only just occurred to someone. I can only imagine what other things they forgot.

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

Year(s) : 2012

NSMC Union Hospital

Name of Hospital: NSMC Union Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Lynn, Massachusetts, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Comment: I was placed here involuntarily when I was 17. I’ve been to MANY hospitals but this is by far the worst.

I was here after (serious) a suicide attempt (transferred from ICU) during a snow storm. You would think that a mental hospital would have windows that were locked, bolted, barred. The window next to my bed was broken and could not close. I was not provided extra blankets.

For a while I was the only person on the ward above the age of 6 and one of the (male) nurses spent a lot of time in my room, telling me I was “not like the other girls” etc (because I was reading a book) and strangely enough, gave me several mouse puppets.

Worst of all was my psychiatrist. He insisted that despite my suicide attempt, that I wasn’t depressed or suffering from any mental illness at all. He took me off of all my medication (including benzos cold turkey) and prescribed thyroid medication. He insisted that I was only sad because I was OVERWEIGHT and that if I lost weight, I would be just fine. all it said on my discharge plan was: low calorie diet.

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

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

Year(s) : 2013