Riverwoods Behavioral Health is an absolute disgrace when it comes to patient mental health care, and quite frankly, they shouldn't even be allowed to operate. My recent discharge from that wretched place after enduring 4 days and 3 nights of sheer misery has left me utterly disgusted. It's abundantly clear management is more interested in wringing every last penny out of its victims than actually providing any semblance of genuine care. The staff was overwhelmed with the number of patients and had limited resources.
From the moment I stumbled into their so-called facility seeking alcohol detox treatment, I was met with an absurd demand for insurance information. As if that wasn't infuriating enough, they swiftly thrust a bill in my face, essentially demanding a payment. Never in my wildest nightmares did I expect to be extorted while intoxicated. It's an outright display of predatory behavior that preys on the vulnerable and disoriented.
Days were spent either vegetating in front of a blaring TV, perched on excruciatingly uncomfortable plastic chairs, or locked in our rooms under the guise of "reflection time”. We were supposed to have 4 varied sessions among the other scheduled activities I’ve attached throughout the day to help cope with our issues, but only one was ever conducted and extremely briefly because the charge nurse had to run off to her next task. In the 4 days I was there we were let outside on only two of our scheduled fresh air breaks.
I met with a “therapist” once for all of 15 minutes where I was asked a few questions while she typed notes, checking a box. For our community goals group we were handed worksheets to fill out, again checking a box. I don’t even know what the other sessions were supposed to be because we never had them. Lots of our time was spent staring at the posted schedule wondering if we were actually going to have any interactions with the staff.
The staff we were meant to interact with the most were the Behavioral Health Associates. However, due to the gamification of their job we were never truly spoken to. We were tracked using armbands and were meant to be checked on every 15 minutes by getting into proximity of us and tapping our name on a tablet. This had the BHAs running around tapping on our names as rapidly as possible because they were either rewarded for the most “tags” or reprimanded if they ever let a patient go past 15 minutes.
This 15 minute rule also included when we were asleep. Which meant every 15 minutes or more with 2 people per room, our door was opened and flooded with light. Both the noise and light woke me up. Think about that; if checked on a minimum of every 15 minutes, that’s at LEAST 32 times a night. I don’t believe I slept for a total of 2 hours the 3 nights I was there. As you can imagine a lack of sleep is NOT conducive to one's mental health.
Speaking of mental health; there were patients around with clearly deeper phycological issues. I witnessed a nearly comatose young lady shuffled around until she eventually soiled herself. Another woman vomited and was met with yells from the RNs “We’re not going to hold your hair for you!” Many of the patients were homeless and shuffled off to shelters. I witnessed a fight between patients and clear psychotic breaks.
The RNs also joked about patients thinking they couldn’t be heard. They made jokes about drinking on the job which was very triggering for the patients in for alcohol abuse. The RNs never left the nurses station and worked on paperwork 99% of the day either intaking or discharging patients.
They attempted to keep you in as long as possible with no concern about the impact the facility might be having on you to be able to charge for the maximum number of days. My original discharge date was set for Saturday, an additional two days on top of when I was able to get out due to some aggressive negotiations with my family. They had to threaten legal action and report to the news to get me released into their care; both of which I’ll be pursuing personally.