Ending Seclusion and Restraint: Facilities Honored for Leading the Way
By Kristin Blank
A recognition ceremony, hosted by SAMHSA, recently honored the efforts of a select group of behavioral health facilities for making remarkable strides towards preventing seclusion and restraint practices.
SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., related her personal experiences as a consumer advocate in the 1970s. “I walked into seclusion and restraint rooms and talked to people in four-point restraints, without clothes. At that time, I couldn’t stop the seclusion and restraint, but I could advocate for the patients’ safety and dignity,” she said.
“If these images don’t go away for me, imagine the trauma that those individuals experienced and carried with them their entire lives,” she said.
SAMHSA invited facilities to apply for national recognition and the opportunity to share their experiences. Awardees had to demonstrate reduction in use of seclusion and restraint as well as consumer involvement.
Ten facilities were selected from around the Nation by a rigorous peer review process:
- Taunton State Hospital, Taunton, MA
- Salem Hospital, Psychiatric Medicine Center, Salem, OR
- Andrew McFarland Mental Health Center, Springfield, IL
- Kindred Hospital Northeast Stoughton, Neurorehabilitation Units, Stoughton, MA
- Elgin Mental Health Center, Elgin, IL
- Kindred Hospital Park View-Springfield, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Unit, Springfield, MA
- Noble Hospital, Fowler Unit, Westfield, MA
- Cherokee Mental Health Institute, Cherokee, IA
- Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, Sparks, NV
- A group application encompassing eight child/adolescent-serving facilities in MA
The facilities serve diverse populations, including adults, children, and those in forensic treatment.
Lauren Spiro, M.A., Director of the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations discussed the human impact of seclusion and restraint, which she endured during a hospitalization for schizophrenia at age 16.
“Looking back, I now know that what I needed most was to be treated with dignity and respect,” she said. “I needed someone to talk with me and engage me in dialogue because I was stuck in a monologue.”
SAMHSA’s work to reduce and eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint practices in behavioral health care settings is a key part of SAMHSA’s Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative.
Sam McCord, R.N. (left), Director of Nursing at Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, talks with another
SAMHSA’s Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W. (left), and Lauren Spiro, M.A., (right), Director of the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations.