News Articles on Anderson Health Services

Name of Facility: Anderson Health Services

Location: Marshville, NC, USA

Articles:

Charlotte Observer, Teens in NC psych center were choked, zip tied, faced ‘imminent danger,’ state says,” June 2018: “Newly released state records and investigative reports obtained by the Observer detail allegations of physical abuse, faulty treatment and failures by Anderson Health Services since it opened in Marshville in September.”

 

News Articles on Strategic Behavioral Center

Name of Facility: Strategic Behavioral Center

Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Articles

 

Holly Hill Hospital

Name of Hospital: Holly Hill Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Raleigh, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 1.5

Comment: Went there three times in my life.

Nurses would talk down to and insult patients, gossip about them at the front desk. Doctors would use excessive force and discourage peer support. Staff cannot take criticism and it is a major downfall. Was in one unit that had to be put on lockdown at one point because staff couldn’t effectively deal with a fight and patients started getting upset with them, so staff shoved them into walls and sedated them and locked us all in our rooms. Victim blaming is commonplace.

One nurse told me after another patient had vandalized my belongings that some people have worse problems than me. I was neglected in crisis while staff at the front desk watched me and did nothing. Disciplinary action is often given to the victims for being hurt, not to the ones who hurt them. I was once “disciplined” for having a psychotic episode, and also dealt with early stage selective mutism that they couldn’t recognize so instead resorted immediately to “quit lying to us” and were very hostile to me. It seemed like the default opinion was “the patient is being uncooperative on purpose and/or lying” until proven otherwise, and to prove otherwise you had to be in crisis practically 24/7, which presented its own problems.

None of the group therapy sessions were relevant and there wasn’t really any one-on-one therapy. You got put on medication and if it didn’t help they put you on more. No one was allowed to not be on medication. If you weren’t on medication when you came you would be put on something; if you were you’d probably have your prescription upped or altered even if it didn’t make any sense. I was on many meds that I didn’t even need and which made me feel even worse but they wouldn’t let me off of them. Was even refused accommodation when I couldn’t take them due to a swallowing disorder and the med administrator immediately blamed me and withheld them and would not let me try again until I begged.

They had a minimum few days that someone could be there before being released but people were always kept longer. Each time I was there for over a week, sometimes almost two; didn’t matter if you were doing fine. Despite this there seemed to be a pretty high turnover rate. Was once moved units and the room I was put in was excessively hot, had no door on the bathroom, and provided sheeting that could be considered minimal even for most hospitals. Heard reports both while I was there and after I left of sexual assault. Some staff asked me invasive and sexual questions, and during at least one admission strip search I was encouraged to show more than necessary.

I wasn’t informed of any diagnosis I was given throughout the entire stay or even after I left, found out years later that they’d not only completely misdiagnosed me but had included a disorder for me being blunt about the mistreatment (which fueled and validated further abuse as I remained in an out-patient psych system for the next few years). Ward sides with abusive family members over struggling patients anyday.

The few good things I can say are that the food is great, it’s generally pretty clean, and the outdoor areas are roomy, but I don’t remember going outside as much in the second unit I was switched to (from younger adolescent to older teen unit). There’s also a lot of opportunity for peer support since you have a bunch of people in one unit and lots of free time, but obviously whoever your co-patients are is a gamble.

I wouldn’t ever recommend voluntarily admitting yourself here unless you don’t mind being forced on medication and having little to do, but if you have to go I’d say try your luck with the others before you fully confide in any of the staff. It’s been maybe two or three years since I went but from what I know a lot of the same people still work there, and the negative attitudes that reign don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Staff assumed cis girl, Not openly LGBTQ+ when I went

Year(s) : 2013/2014

Duke University Hospital

Name of Hospital: Duke University Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Durham, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 2.5

Comment: I had a difficult time in this hospital. The emergency ward that you’re placed in before a bed opens up is abysmal. Everyone with a psych disorder is placed in a room with sheets separating the beds and TVs blasting constantly, which isn’t good if your mental illness involves an aversion to loud/conflicting noises as mine did at the time. One of the other patients was violent and attacked the nurses station. I voluntarily went into the solitary confinement room to get away from the noise and violent patients.

The Williams Ward was better because it had individual rooms that were quite nice. However, I was hospitalized on the weekend, which means there were very few doctors there and we didn’t receive any kind of therapy or help. It was essentially just a holding ward to keep you from killing yourself, which is ok for some people, but since I was manic at the time it was very hard to have no stimulation or outlet for my energy. The courtyard is also terrible, basically just a concrete slab with a huge fence that I was only allowed to go to once in my 4 days.

I had a homophobic incident in this hospital in which I was accosted for my (undisclosed) sexuality, based on my appearance, by another patient. When I approached a nurse about the problem, she told me to stand up for myself and went back to reading her magazine. Most of the staff was nice but I thought that was terrible, there should have been more intervention. I’ve heard that Duke is the best hospital in North Carolina for psychiatric disorders but I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to have been met with homophobia.

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

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

Holly Hill Hospital

Name of Hospital: Holly Hill

City, State/Province, Country: Raleigh, NC, United States

Number of Stars: 1.5

Comment: The facility forced near constant group interaction on inpatients. Do not visit unless you are prepared to be held at the program for at least three days; an inpatient during my stay visited for an inquiry regarding the facility and program, but they take your car keys upon entry and the patient was held in the facility against their will.

The treatment is very lacking in personal care and almost entirely done in a group environment, and some of the exercises at the facility included worksheets that instructed patients to literally force out emotions such as sorrow or anger through force of will or, alternatively, to ignore them entirely as if they didn’t exist.

The care for transgender individuals is minimum. Medications were granted, but upon harassment the facility’s response is to move the transgender patient between wards on a near weekly basis. Gender identity was not respected during room assignments (bathrooms are shared between neighboring rooms). The facility was somewhat well kept and clean in spite of this, but the clear focus of the facility is to allow for a somewhat safe space to detox and then leave with a high turnover rate.

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

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

Cannon Hospital

Name of Hospital: Cannon Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Linville, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 3

Comment: I’ve been in Cannon Hospital twice over the past few months, and it’s definitely the better of the two hospitals I’ve been in recently. There’s a lot of structure: several instructed groups every day with a specific schedule. They’re very well taught groups too. The people who teach the classes and the nurses are extremely nice and seem knowledgeable; they’re very polite and none of the staff ever misgendered me here.

The food is pretty good, and it’s nice that you have some choice about what you’ll be eating. Unfortunately there’s absolutely zero caffeine in anything they let patients have, so I was extremely tired all of the time. One thing that bothered fellow patients is how little freedom you have while you’re here, which is true. The bedrooms are usually unlocked during group time (most of the daytime) and you’re generally supposed to be at a specific place at a specific time.

During my second stay here, I had already stayed at another hospital for five days before being transferred here, and I was very late on my estrogen shot. I brought this up every single day and it was never given to me; that’s unacceptable, given that hormone replacement meds are often even more important than normal psych meds for trans people’s mental health. The doctor who was ultimately in control of patients’ treatment and things like that seemed a lot less empathetic and understanding and even knowledgeable than many of the therapist/social worker type people who were around.

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

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

Frye South Campus (Frye Regional Medical Center)


Name of Hospital: Frye South Campus (Frye Regional Medical Center)

City, State/Province, Country: Hickory, NC, USA

Number of Stars: 2.5

Comment: I was transferred to Frye South Campus after a very brief stay in another hospitals’ ER. The nurses here were very nice and encouraging, but just on the edge of acceptable amount of talking about religion. A lot of people in this region find comfort in that sort of thing rather than considering it a trauma trigger, so that’s understandable I guess.

There was usually a short instructed group about mental illness, medications, or coping skills, but they weren’t super great. The food was very good. You would have one person you’d meet with once every day – your Doctor – who would also sort of serve as your therapist. These brief meetings didn’t feel very sufficient, and I feel like I sort of got pushed into minimizing the disabling nature of my mental health conditions while I was there.

One of the nurses who was around the most misgendered me constantly around other patients, so that was sort of unacceptable and I didn’t want to cause a scene or make myself unsafe so I never said anything.

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

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