To be at least somewhat fair, it's important to note that I was forced to "visit" this hospital during a severe bipolar depressive episode by the Providence ER staff after they invoked Alaska law which permits incarceration of those who suffer from mental illness for a period of observation for up to 72 hours, which inexplicably does not include weekend hours. Laws such as this, which exist in several states, may be well-intentioned but in practice they violate the civil rights of those afflicted with mental illness. Many mental health professionals are opposed to them, with good reason. Although I am very angry because I was just victimized and held against my will I have to admit that this is not a black and white issue nor are laws such as this an easy call. I think there does need to be a procedure in place to prevent those in crisis from harming themselves, but if incarceration is deemed necessary then the facilities used MUST be of the highest quality and not just an 80-bed glorified prison as is unfortunately the case with API.
I wouldn't go to API again voluntarily nor will I ever go there again under ANY circumstances. I spent three extremely unpleasant, sleep-deprived days there and was not helped in any way.
Sleep is impossible there as they have a policy of waking everybody up at least once per hour. I understand the reasoning behind the policy -- to ensure that nobody is attempting to do themselves harm -- but in practice this policy is abusive and definitely not conducive to recovery from mental illness. The last thing anyone experiencing acute mental illness needs is to be sleep-deprived and that is unfortunately exactly what you will get at API.
In addition, the night shift staff in charge and at least one nurse are unprofessional to say the least and actively verbally abusive toward patients.
For those in a crisis situation, the Providence Adult Mental Health Unit and the Crisis Recovery Center both offer far superior services and I would strongly recommend either of them over API.
My experience at API overall was extremely negative and given the circumstances of my presence there I can't help but give an unfair and biased review and I fully acknowledge that reality, but I do want to stress that there are some good, caring professionals there that I had very pleasant encounters with. That includes staff at all levels of care. I can't honestly say that the place is "all bad", but there is a tremendous amount of room for improvement.
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