Haven Psychiatric Hospital

Name of Facility: Haven Psychiatric Hospital

Location of Facility (City, State/Province, Country): Dayton, Ohio, USA

Number of Stars: 1

Description of Experience: I submitted myself for a voluntary hold because I was having problems with my medications. Having only one previous hospitalization, which I consider the best decision of my life, I came here with high hopes for making a plan to get me back on track. Within a couple hours I realized what a horrible mistake I’d made.

This was not only my perception—every person there who had been previously hospitalized agreed that this was by far the worst place they’d ever been to.

The staff was awful. Some days it was 15 patients to a nurse, making it impossible for them to do their job effectively or even give us meds as needed since they were so busy. Apparently there is a real doctor on staff but my only interaction with her was one day she passed me in the hall and asked if I was feeling ok. Since she didn’t introduce herself and I’d never seen her before I assumed she was just being polite, not realizing that that was apparently my doctor visit for the day! On the other days I saw a “doctor” who turned out to be a nurse practitioner, which is fine but I don’t think it’s ok for an NP to present themselves as an MD in a hospital!

The nurse practitioner decided to put me on an antipsychotic at three times the typical dose for schizophrenia with no titration the first day I was there, despite having no history of psychosis or violence ( he himself diagnosed me with depression WITHOUT psychotic features). The dose was so high I had distorted vision and was seeing colors that weren’t there! However I also quickly saw that anyone who complained about it (EVERYONE regardless of diagnoses was on antipsychotics) was told they wouldn’t be released until they agreed to take it for three days, which left me in a position where I felt like I was being medicated against my will, with a medication that harmed me, due to the threats for not taking it.

The hospital serves three populations: adult psych patients, (non-medicated) drug detoxing, and geriatric psych. There was no division of violent and nonviolent patients, meaning that some of the people going through withdrawal and/or psychosis were literally assaulting the other patients while staff looked on. One man urinated and defecated in the halls, with the staff maybe picking it up after a few hours but never sanitizing the area. The same man crawled into several women’s beds while they were sleeping, which the staff brushed off as ‘oh he doesn’t know what he’s doing ‘.

My roommate was 102 years old and I was essentially her aide. She had severe dementia and thought I worked for her, which the staff encouraged, often bringing her to me to watch when they didn’t want to be bothers. The aides at this place seemed either irritated or disgusted with us, and would stop to chat with each other for 20+ minutes at a time after you asked for help. In the five days I was there my roommate did not have her dirty sheets changed on a single occasion that I didn’t do it. All of the elderly patients were treated similarly. Left for hours in their excrement and page buttons ignored. Apparently helping someone get out of bed and into a wheelchair is too much to ask, so elderly patients would spend most of the day staring at the walls crying. There were numerous cases of elder abuse/neglect seen every day.

There was very little to do. Exercise was usually 20 minutes of chair stretches. Art/music therapy was very good and ran by a part-time activities person who was one of the few staff who seemed to genuinely care. There were two large televisions but nurses kept the remote. The food wasn’t very good and there were very few options. Portions were small and you could not order extra food without approval (I was denied the soup I ordered because that was too much food with a turkey sandwich).

While the aides resented and ignored us, and the nurses were too overworked to help us, the social workers and doctors were practically nonexistent. My one other hospitalization involved two group therapy sessions a day, seeing the doctor every day, and making an individualized plan with my assigned social worker, this place did none of those things. We were supposed to have two groups a day led my the social workers, but in the five days I was there not a single one was held. My intake assessment with the doctor took about three minutes. I saw him come in each morning but he never spoke to me again until I was discharged. This was also the only time I spoke with the social worker. Instead of making a plan with me she just talked at me for a couple minutes then checked off boxes which said things like I have a safe home (I didn’t) or that I refused counseling (I wasn’t offered).

They were pro LGBT in the sense that they didn’t seem to think it existed, so therefor ignored it. This was certainly better than their obsession with straight sex. I got warnings for walking down the hall with a man, no touching, in plain sight. I understand this is an inappropriate place for sexual conduct, but surely that would be better addressed one-on-one as it arises, rather than the weird paternalism which was suspicious of people talking but fine when someone was actually being sexually harassed/assaulted. Most of us women were groped or grabbed and the woman next room over found a guy masturbating all over her bed, but this was ignored.

Quite frankly, this place was so traumatic that it’s come up in my therapy sessions as we work through my PTSD. I left far worse off than when I arrived.

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

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

Year(s) Your Experience(s) Occurred (i.e. 2015): 2018

News Articles on Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry

Name of Facility: Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry

Location: Columbus, OH, USA

News Articles:

WOSU Public Media (WOSU Radio), “Disability Group Asks Ohio To Protect Patients At Columbus Psychiatric Hospital,” May 2018: “Disability Rights Ohio released a report this week calling attention to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry’s violations of treatment standards and patient safety – including allegations of physical and sexual abuse.”

Kettering Behavioral Hospital

Name of Hospital: Kettering Behavioral Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Dayton, Ohio, United States

Number of Stars: 2

Comment: I stayed at Kettering Behavioral for three days after a suicide attempt in 2013. I’m only increasing my rating from one star to two because the food was good.

The admitting procedure is embarrassing. You’re routed from the main hospital to the behavioral hospital by ambulance, so when you get there you’re strapped into a gurney and the door opens directly into the center of the “common area,” (if a circle of chairs at a crossroads of hallways can be called that.) So you just sit there at the reception desk for a good half hour as a spectacle for everyone’s amusement, probably crying hysterically. It’s humiliating.

There is another room where you can sit at a table to play a game or do a puzzle, but I would describe it as depressing. Your room does not have a door. You have no curtain or divider from your roommate. You have no privacy in your bathroom but a weird rubber swingy thing that wouldn’t even be sufficient to use for a dressing room. All the surfaces of my room were sticky, as if something had been spilled years ago and never cleaned up. The mattresses were plastic-covered foam pads maybe two or three inches thick.

The doctors didn’t make rounds at any specific time, they just visited you wherever you happened to be, regardless of how many other patients were within hearing range.

At mealtimes you were escorted down a long hallway in your socks, which was weird and gross, since no shoes are allowed -not even without laces- to a cafeteria. The food was pretty good, which was the only highlight of the entire stay. There was a small kitchenette with decaf tea near the rooms.

There was a computer with internet access, and one phone but you had to wait in line for each. You were allowed to wear street clothes if family brought them to you, and there was a washer and dryer you could use for free. You weren’t allowed to sleep during the day, and there were group therapies you were required to attend.

There were not an abundance of nurses if you needed something. One of the patients was having a bad reaction to his medication. Because there were no doors on the rooms or bathrooms, the entire building smelled so bad that everyone was ill and we could have no visitors. It was truly miserable. Even without that incident, I would never choose to return to this facility if I ever needed inpatient care again. It was absolutely abysmal.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: no

Year(s) : 2013

Miami Valley Hospital

Name of Hospital: Miami Valley Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Dayton, Ohio, United States

Number of Stars: 4.5

Comment: I stayed on the psych unit for inpatient treatment for about two weeks in 2012 after a suicide attempt. I had a positive experience with the unit in general, but am reducing one star because of a misdiagnosis that, looking back, could have completely been prevented if a closer watch had been kept by an actual doctor (I only saw a resident for about five minutes at six am every morning, during which I was so sleepy I didn’t even know what was going on.)

I was admitted late in the evening, and the nurses were very kind about finding a change of clothes that fit comfortably and gently trying to coax me into eating something I would like. The rooms are pretty nice, even though I sometimes had to share. There is a privacy curtain, which is more than I can say for other facilities. The bathroom has a full heavy door for complete privacy and a metal mirror, which is something other places don’t always have.

There is a nurse call button by the bed. The beds are typical hospital beds but are nicer than the plastic-covered foam mattresses that some others have. Things are nice and quiet at night, the nurses don’t come in at all hours getting vitals or anything. If you want to sleep during the day they are ok with that, they just check on you quietly from time to time.

The rooms have plenty of shelves for personal belongings, which family can bring as long as it does not violate the safety precautions. They may also bring street clothes, which you can wash for free in the machines they have in the unit. Flowers deliveries are allowed in plastic vases. Visiting can occur in the common area or private rooms with an attendant. At mealtimes you can order off a list and the food is brought up. You can eat in your room or in the common area. There’s a little corner with decaf tea and snacks. The common area has a TV and some games and puzzles.

All the nurses were excellent, they made sure you were comfortable physically but often stopped to ask if you wanted to talk about anything. They weren’t therapists or anything but they were willing to just listen, which was really comforting. There was one nurse who was not helpful, one day I had a searing migraine and she absolutely refused to ask my resident to order me a prescription of the medication prescribed by my family doctor because, according to her, I should have asked him when he made his rounds (at 6am, when I was ASLEEP.) She was horribly rude and unfeeling.

But one bad nurse out of dozens isn’t that awful, I suppose. I would choose this hospital over any other if I ever needed another inpatient stay.

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: no

Year(s) : 2012

OHSU Psych Ward

Name of Hospital: OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University) Psych Ward

City, State/Province, Country: Portland, Oregon, USA

Number of Stars: 3.5

Comment: I was placed here after a failed suicide attempt and was there for only 2 weeks. This, however, was more then enough time to gauge what it was going to be like if I was there longer.

It felt rather cramped with people. Outside of a few of single bedroom “observation” rooms, there was two people to a room with about 6-8 rooms and (I believe) two of the fore-mentioned “observation” rooms. The entire place was lit with fluorescent light and with few windows, there was very little natural light (something I am quite sensitive to). To top it off, there was a dearth of things to do. When I am emotionally off-kilter, I need something solitary to occupy my mind with. They had nothing but a single TV, a game of Uno (and a few other Milton-Bradly BS games), and a few jigsaw puzzles (from what I remember). There was also a “group therapy” session thing every day that was non-mandatory. I went to one and felt that it was a farce.

On the bright side, they let my parents bring some things including a few books, a stuffed animal, my phone, and my iPod touch (which actually helped a lot). I also had several visitors, including one I was not expecting. The food is also pretty good there. But please bare in mind, I was sent to a “low-threat” ward. Apparently they had a “high-threat” ward which would probably be a completely different environment.

I only met with a counselor once and all that was discussed was warning signs and a quick list of coping strategies was made in case of severe emotional deterioration.

After 2 weeks, they said that I was now in on a voluntary basis but I left that day because I was transferred out of the “observation” rooms and into a double bedroom. I am never super comfortable around strangers (though it doesn’t show) and the only real time that I can recharge is when I am alone. I probably should of fought the decision but it was confusing time for myself and I’ve never been much of a self-advocate. I also really should of stuck around a little while longer to sort myself out a little further but I knew that that wasn’t going to happen if I am forced into contact with others. As I left I wasn’t given any support, outpatient plan, nothing. Not even a list of potential psychiatrists or psychologists.

Looking back on it, I felt that I could have been left to rot in there. The nurses, while nice and kind, were not especially helpful outside of daily living (basically food and idle chit-chat). I never met the doctor whom I was “under the care of,” the counselor whom I met was a student doctor (though I don’t think he was bad, actually, just inexperienced). All-in-all, the only real reason why I got better there was out of self direction. If I had health insurance, things may of progressed differently but I didn’t at the time…

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

Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: High-functioning Autism (undiagnosed at the time), Lacked health insurance

Akron Children’s Hospital

Name of Hospital: Akron Children’s Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Akron, OH, USA

Number of Stars: 4

Comment: It was a very good program, the nurses were kind and caring, except for a handful. They had trained therapy dogs come to the ward every other night or so. The food was good and they didn’t shove supplemental drinks down your throat. It was an adolescent Ward but it was very good. My only negative expierence was I was forced to take daily medication despite my request. Overall the stay was good and helped stabilize me.

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 transgender and they were extremely accepting of that, the floor was co-ed and nothing was divided by gender.

Children’s Hospital

Name of Hospital: Children’s Hospital

City, State/Province, Country: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Number of Stars: 2.5

Comment: You are not allowed to wear your own clothes, you have to wear a purple hospital gown. And if you require a bra then it has to be a sports bra or they can deny you a use of one at all. you have a person in your room 24 hours a day called a “constant” they watch you every minute of the day. If you wanted to shower then you had to leave the door open and talk to them as you shower, and the same rules apply if you use the bathroom. You are not allowed to leave your room except for five minute walks up and down the hall IF your doctor says you are allowed. Only immediate family are allowed to visit, unless they are under the age of 18. The constant goes through all your possessions if your parents bring you anything. You are made to have 5 therapy sessions a day. 2 include family therapy.

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