Willowbrook, the institution that shocked a nation into changing its laws
Matt Reimann

BUT, some things NEVER change: This was a comment I tried adding to the R29 article about the Willowbrook institution, but “it wouldn’t let me! There ARE STILL hospitals, as of 12/2016, both public & private that abuse patients w/mental H. issues! How about ignore a patients request to see Dr. (ALL weekend) & being forced to stay in a mental health facility, for 3–7 days, against will, & as a TI (targeted individual) whose only problems were depression & anxiety (because of being Targeted in community, & other reasons). At one hospital, sometimes housed in a room w/13 beds for 27 patients(!), men & women together in 1 room, some severely disabled men wandered & masterbated, fights, chair throwing, while “staff” hides behind glass @ the nurses station, IGNORING US. We slept in chairs/or on floor! Then after a teen lifted her shirt up (wearing no bra) we were finally moved, in the middle of night (miraculously, they suddenly had ROOM to separate the males from the females!? Afraid of a rape lawsuit?), some of us actually got our OWN rooms, but still no Dr. available… At another hospital, was moved, again, in the middle of the night, to a separate room — yet another rm — way down the hall from the other patients, that never had the bathroom cleaned & trying to fall asleep under the strong stench of old urine; Finally seen by a “Dr” that couldn’t speak/understand English, given drugs to make you docile & into a zombie, & some staff, terrifyingly, CONTINUE the psych. & phys torture & torment I was experiencing in “my community”! Was a living nightmare!! Nurses checking every 15 min. during the night & purposely slamming door, As a Type I diabetic, the banana & graham crackers I would bring to my room, in case my blood glucose dropped during night, were routinely thrown away by these nurses who would come in my darkened room, rifle through my shelf where food was, & would THROW IT OUT! I also had to hide other stuff, like a crayon & gulf pencil, to take notes & they found them and took them too. An indust.elevator LOUDLY going up & down ALL night, next to my rm, that I was told did not work! LOUD Beeping @ 7 AM the next day, right outside my window, from one of those accordian-like cherry pickers, now commonly used to paint houses, doing NOTHING (a “staged” activity to harass & torment), just going up & down, BEEPING LOUDLY for over an hour! = Scary Scary shit!!! I could tell you SO MUCH more that you would NOT believe!! I came to see the EXTREME FRUSTRATION these poor people are repeatedly FORCED to endure, time and time again! No dignity nor respect — just an inconvenienceto deal with, from their computer games in the nurses station! Not giving us, or having us sign our “NYS Patients Bill of Rights”, because we weren’t “officially” admitted yet, but we weren’t allowed to leave!? Nurses and social workers said “not until a Dr. discharged us…”, but there was ONLY ONE Dr. I saw, at a distance, over a three day period. So I had to wait until it was my turn, but I counted, and on one day, she only saw THREE patients the whole day!!! We were denied all rights, due process & representation! Women had to use the men’s bathroom, because, according to the very stern security guard, the women TRASHED their bathroom! Lie! I had just been in there and it was fine! I was wearing an insulin pump and was concerned about cleanliness, and you had to be a contortionist to turn on the, short length of time the faucets actually runs with water, to wash your hands, toilet paper kept running out, urine all over seat & floor and we were given those little socks, with rubber skid-proof soles, that would invariably, get saturated with the urine on the floor!

The stigma and ways US society is treating and “dealing with” mentally disabled (MANY HOMELESS AND ALSO PHYSICALLY DISABLED!) is NOTHING SHORT of a SHAMEFUL TRAVESTY and is a GREAT EVIL!!!