A Denton Record Chronicle Article and My Letter to the Reporter

Posted: April 6, 2011 in After the Dust Settled, Letters and Documentation, Stories from Other People, The People Involved, Who Am I?

This article appeared in the Denton paper this week.

I could not let it go without a response.  I posted this blog’s address in the article’s comments section and got quite a few click-thrus, plus some of the highest traffic ever for this site.   Thanks to all who read and shared with others.

This morning I wrote the reporter who wrote the story and told her the following.  I thought you might like to see what I said:

Dear Ms. Mehlhaff,

I read your article on the merger of UBH and Mayhill hospitals with great interest. I have posted a comment to the article that shares a link to my blog, http://www.ubhdentonsucks.com If you have not already seen it, I hope you will review it.

I have talked to or had e-mail correspondence with probably 20 people in less than a year who all report one or more of the following things that I also experienced while a VOLUNTARY patient at UBH:

1. Overmedication
2. Lack of proper basic medical care.
3. “Cookie cutter treatment”: ie., diagnose everyone as bipolar and/or a substance abuser.
4. Poor security
5. Unclean quarters and food service areas
6. No outdoor recreation.
7. A tendency towards holding patients for commitment even if they signed themselves in voluntarily
8. Attending physicians spending little time with patients, and/or not reading their charts, and/or not paying attention to the patient’s requests and wishes.
9. Retention vs. discharge decisions based primarily on insurance coverage rather than the welfare of the patient.

I understand why you wrote the story that you did, but I really do believe there is a story to be told about what happens at UBH Denton that no reporter has been willing to touch. My Denton friends in psychology and psychiatry tell me that UBH is well-known in town for all the things I mentioned above, so they only use Mayhill when inpatient treatment is required. I have lawyer friends in town who have told me that “everyone in the legal system knows how bad it is at UBH….” Yet for whatever reason they are allowed to continue. UBH seems to be the dirty little secret that no one in Denton will acknowledge or discuss. My mission—my purpose in maintaining my blog and reaching out to people like yourself—is to make sure that the problem is finally acknowledged and dealt with.

The day I asked someone to drive me to the emergency room and then readily signed myself in to the hospital is probably the #1 day in my entire life that I wish I could have a complete “do-over” for. Neither I nor my close friends and family had any clue how I would be treated at the hospital, or how things would work while I stayed there.

I heard this week from a former student of mine (I was a professor at UNT for 17 years) that he fully intends to sue UBH because of something they did to a family member. When he asked to speak to the CEO, Susan Young, he had to wait 3 weeks to get the answer from them that she was “just too busy” to talk to him. This is pretty much the same reaction I got when I sent them my letter describing the horrid conditions I found during my stay.

All I am asking of you is to review all the posts and comments on my blog, and ask yourself how there can be so many people who come out of there feeling and saying the same things. I realize it’s easy to dismiss the comments of any one person who has been in a psychiatric hospital because they/we are, in most people’s eyes, at least a little bit “crazy.” But as many of us as there are who have shared our stories, I would think that someone who start to smell something really rotten at UBH.

My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx  if you want to visit further about this, or, you can write me back here.

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Comments
  1. christy says:

    Viva la revolution – pursuing my own case but interested in a class action lawsuit. How do you feel about picketing?….legal protest of course.-Christy

    • ubhdenton says:

      Believe me, I thought of it before. I was thinking that perhaps one way to work on this is to purchase ad space in the local paper to publicize our site. I think you’re going to have to find a good ambulance chaser to sue. And I know the perfect one. I’ll contact him today and see what he thinks.

  2. Robin Jackson says:

    I believe that a class action suit is the proper way to go. There is always power in numbers. I am not interested in any monetary compensation. I would donate that to those less fortunate. How to pursue!

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