I am speaking as a health professional and former patient at this facility. First, I will add, that if you have a mental health emergency, or a member of your family has a mental health emergency, then please seek help from a health care professional, at a psychiatric facility, not necessarily Windmoor, or call 911 immediately. I feel compelled to share with those considering this facility for mental health issues, for themselves or a loved one, the grave negative aspects of Windmoor. First and foremost, the facility lacks the most important part of mental health which is compassion. I was very sick and treated without any compassion what-so-ever at this facility and I was not alone. The things I saw, and the way I was treated, were beyond words: terrifying at times and other times simply inhumane. Months after my admission of several weeks, I am finally getting treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the way the staff treated me and how the staff allowed patients to treat each other. The reality is that the staff has no problem Baker Acting people who come in voluntarily and even visitors, yes visitors, in unjust ways. I agree that treating mental illness is extremely difficult, but this facility goes about treatment of patients, in my experience, totally different than any other facility I have been to or seen as a patient and health professional. It is almost like the doctors and staff under whose care I was under had a deep resentment for the patients and myself. There were a few exceptions in the staff, and a few breaks from the abuse and neglect, but mostly I remained terrified with little emotional support during my stay, other than lied to family members, and it was truly the worst experience of my life. Even as I write this I am almost regret doing so because it brings up countless memories of negative and horrific experiences I had even long after I was stabilized at Windmoor. I could go on and on and give countless examples of abuse and neglect but I fear loosing my anonymity. The bottom line is that if your loved one or friend ends up here by Baker Act please visit frequently and question what is being done. If your friend or loved one reports abuse or neglect and the staff tries to convince you it is delusional or just psychosis, perhaps it is, but think twice instead of dismissing it altogether. Most of the patients, I believe, end up at Windmoor through Florida's Baker Act laws which I support because anyone at risk of hurting themselves or others needs help immediatley. I do not support what happens after a patient arrives at Windmoor. If you are considering inpatient treatment go somewhere else. I can not comment on outpatient treatment whatsoever so perhaps another can comment on that. All I can say is that this facility is awful and the one star I give it is from my heart and soul as a poorly treated human-being who needed help. Lastly, I encourage more REAL patients post on this facility. All to often, after an awful experience, the human tendency is to try to forget and move on. I chose to try to help with this warning. Peace to all.
October 08, 2013