Florida’s Deadly Mental Hospitals – What Patients and Families Should Know
After a young man with schizophrenia needlessly died in a Gainesville mental hospital, press reports are bringing attention to the dangerous and deadly conditions present in Florida hospitals. Although the young man had an inability to control his behavior and regularly got into physical altercations with other patients, what happened next was inexcusable.
One night in July of 2010, the young man took a swing at another hospital patient. An orderly intervened, but instead of restraining the patient, body checked him into a nearby concrete wall. The force of the impact tore through the young man’s skull, causing a severe brain injury. After the incident, it was discovered the orderly had not received training to handle physical altercations between patients.
Hospital staff did not call 911 until hours later, even after his body went limp. Instead, the young man was given a Tylenol for the severe pain, confusion and disorientation. Hospital cameras recorded the disturbing series of events. By the time staff called 911, it was too late to save the patient’s life, and he died at 23 years old.
Why Are Florida Mental Hospitals Dangerous?
Deaths in mental hospitals happen because of poor training, lack of funding, awful communication standards between staff, and incompetence. Families are left devastated, as their loved ones have died for no other reason than poor hospital policies and an inability on the part of the state to help the mentally ill.
In 2009, Florida cut $100 million in funding from mental hospitals and laid off 35 percent of mental health workers. The consequences of these policies are fatal for innocent patients who have entrusted their lives to the care of others.