Some Nevadans who either seek inpatient mental health treatment on their own or who are civilly committed are subjected to neglect and abuse in the facilities, which can lead to suffering, pain, and death. There have been incidents of reported abuse and neglect within mental health facilities across the U.S. Victims of abuse and neglect in mental health facilities may be able to recover damages and to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Abuse and Neglect in Mental Health Facilities
People may admit themselves into inpatient mental hospitals, or they may be involuntarily committed by others. When people enter into inpatient mental health facilities, they are normally experiencing crises that require specialized care.
Mental health facilities are licensed and regulated by the state of Nevada and are supposed to meet certain standards. Unfortunately, some inpatient mental health hospitals fail to meet the minimum standards, and the patients may be subjected to horrific conditions, abuse and neglect. The conditions inside of the hospitals and the manner in which the patients are treated may cause them to suffer, experience pain, and may lead to death.
Chronic Abuse and Neglect Example
One example of ongoing chronic neglect and abuse in a mental health hospital has occurred at a psychiatric hospital in Texas named the Sundance Behavioral Hospital. Hundreds of complaints have been filed with Medicare and with the state certifying agencies about the conditions. An investigative team from the local CBS affiliate there has conducted an ongoing investigation into the hospital. The team has found many problems, including suicides, children forced to sleep on the floor, holes in the walls and ceilings, staff threatening patients with needles, and many more issues. Some patients have reported being held against their will, and parents have reported that their children were held against the parents’ will.
Despite these problems, the facility remains open. The state of Texas indicated that it had issued fines to the hospital multiple times and was currently conducting its own investigation. Medicare, which has certified the hospital, referred the investigative reporters to the state.
What to Do
People who have suffered abuse or neglect in a mental health care facility or their loved ones may be able to hold the facility accountable for its actions by filing lawsuits. They might be able to recover damages while also helping to deter the hospital from engaging in future similar conduct.