To Whom it May Concern: | This note is to serve as a formal complaint regarding the disservices of the staff at Cascadia Behavioral Health in Portland, Ore. The complaint regards lack advertised services rendered for mental health and rude, untrained staff who have no crisis management skills who supposedly work in ‘mental health.’ What a clown show if ever there were one! | On the evening of 4/12/17 I entered into this walk-in facility to seek mental health treatment for myself, as I have post-traumatic stress. I checked in, filled out some forms, and waited for a staff member to come and speak with me. | The woman with whom I first met is named Veronica. She introduced herself by name only, and did not identify what ‘credentials’ she held, if any. This should have been a red flag, but it was late and I had wrongly ‘assumed’ she held higher credentials than she probably did. She certainly didn’t hold any sort of PhD or Cht etc. That’s for sure. | Veronica conducted an ‘intake’ regarding my situation, as I was inquiring in to long term in-patient psychiatric care. During the ‘intake’ I was asked many uncomfortable questions regarding my post-traumatic stress and was triggered regarding the woman’s tone of voice and insistence that every question must be answered. She insured me this was for my ‘best interest.’ | Obviously Veronica had no understanding of post-traumatic stress or proper training in how to work with someone with post-traumatic stress. I was never told I could skip a question or ‘pass’ if I felt uncomfortable. Or, take a moment to breathe. Veronica assured me she was there to help me. But, she never inquired into if I had ANY language barriers nor if I had any disabling conditions for which I needed an accommodation. Way to do your job lady. | During the ‘intake,’ I mentioned a very serious circumstance, for which she disregarded and continued to bring up many times later during our ‘meeting.’ This triggered me even further. I was asked to repeat a very deep trauma to someone who was untrained and uninterested in what I had to say and unaware of how her verbiage and body language may make me feel afraid or scared. Every time I disclosed to her personal information, she continued to repeat phrases such as, “I see” or “I’m sorry you are going through that.” Feverishly, she wrote down every detail she *thought* she heard. But, she was not present. In reality, her eyes showcased that she really wasn’t sorry at all for my situation; rather she was uncomfortable hearing of a major act of violence that happened to me. As a result of her anxiety hearing such, she misinterpreted what I told her and wrote incorrect notes in my ‘medical’ chart. | Once the intake was over, Veronica left the meeting room. When she returned, all she had to offer me in terms of ‘treatment’ was to go to a women’s ‘shelter’ run by the Salvation Army so I could obtain more ‘stable housing.’ I wasn’t asking for housing resources and was very confused as to why she offered this to me. Veronica assured me Cascadia Behavioral Health had a mat ‘reserved’ for me there and that I could get the help I needed there. In these places, women sleep on a ‘mat’ on a floor in a room of about 100 persons. That’s the resource she offered? Really? She left with a smile. | When she returned to the meeting room, she reported that the supposed ‘mat’ Cascadia Behavioral Health had reserved for me…. was not in fact reserved. Also, the facility she tried to send me to, closed at 10:00 p.m. They were not making an exception to have me enter, even given my very extenuating crisis circumstance. Assuming I wanted to be there, that is. | To preface, in the aforementioned intake we did about an hour prior, I had told Veronica in my ‘search’ for help I looked at ‘programs’ run by such places like the Salvation Army, and explained to her why they were not a fit. I mentioned that assaults and theft occur in those places and that they further exacerbate my post-traumatic stress due to their crowded nature. I also mentioned the staff there have no training in mental health AND that what I seek is in-patient psychiatric care. There was a real dis-connect to her thought-process here sending me to a women’s ‘shelter’ when I was seeking mental health help. | At this point, I was furious as my time was completely wasted and I had NO leads! And, my post-traumatic stress reaction was worsening. At one point, Veronica brought up the ‘incident’ of which I told her regarding my trauma. I went into a state of ‘shell shock’ and was in a fetal position on the floor in the meeting room where we met. She screamed at me and said, “That’s it, you need to LEAVE.” She never asked if I needed water or food, or tea nor said anything such as, “how may I help?” She made very clear demands that “the facility was closing” and “you must leave.” My safety was not her top priority and I would not send anyone here, no matter what their mental health circumstance is, was, or will be. | Veronica brought out a female comrade named Mandy and together they ‘ganged’ up on me and “bullied” me while I was under extreme emotional distress. Mandy yelled at me and screamed, “We need to get you out of here – Now!” Previously, I was told by Veronica I could take a cab to a different mental health facility in Portland, Ore. but, she retaliated and ‘retracted’ the offer to cab me there due to my post-traumatic stress episode. What an inhumane thing to do. No one properly intervened, asked if I was safe, if I was thinking of hurting myself, or just needed to sit and do a meditation and breathe for a few minutes to gather my thoughts. | I needed a few minutes to gather my thoughts and think of the next step. But, before I could do so, Mandy called a male staff member who had the phone in his hand. They said they were going to call the police and have me physically removed from the property if I didn’t leave. Keep in mind, they gave me no leads as to where to go next, retracted the cab offer, and were pushing me out of the facility when I was an extreme state of emotional distress and could have been a risk to myself in terms of safety. | After all this, Mandy came over and flashed a bus ticket and aggressively stated, “there’s a bus stop up the street.” Nothing as to what bus number to take or where to go except one ’emergency room.’ Mandy never made any calls to see if the place was open or what the hours were, if the place was accepting new patients, NOR did she print me out directions on how to get there. I was extremely anxious and had no resources to look it up myself, as I do not use a ‘smart’ phone. | This whole series of ‘episodes’ interacting with these dispassionate and uncaring persons was complete and utter negligence all the way around by Cascadia Behavioral Health’s untrained staff. Absolutely unacceptable. They are making a living at MY expense. Harassing innocent people trying to seek help for themselves and showing no remorse for doing so. Shame on them.
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