Mental Anguish at Texas West Oaks Hospital

Go to this private psychiatric facility, and you might be helped. Or you might be shut in a room all alone and end up like Amanda, with a broken arm. Or dead.

Aziz, of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels & Friend, has just become involved in another case against West Oaks. He is representing Alma and Alveh Chambers, parents of Alan Chambers. Brought to West Oaks after trying to kill himself, Alan was allowed to go into his room, slamming the door behind him, and remain there undisturbed long enough to tear up and braid the bed linen he used to hang himself with.

Cynthia Pickett, attorney with the firm of Doyle Restrepo Harvin & Robbins, is representing Alan Chambers's wife Linda and the couple's three children, ranging in age from ten to 17, in a similar action against West Oaks.

Both attorneys make the same point: Why was an obviously disturbed and agitated man, who'd just been brought in after attempting to kill himself, left to his own devices?

Amanda's broken arm wasn't discovered till after she left West Oaks.
Courtesy Loretta Lilley
Amanda's broken arm wasn't discovered till after she left West Oaks.
Texas has fined West Oaks $155,000 since March 2007 for violations of state regulations.
Daniel Kramer
Texas has fined West Oaks $155,000 since March 2007 for violations of state regulations.

His twin brother Greg says Alan started going in and out of depression when he was about 38. He'd get treatment for around three months and then would be good for another year and a half. Eventually, the bouts of depression took their toll and Alan moved out of his home, taking a garage apartment.

On the day of his suicide attempt, he'd gone to his wife's office and slit his wrists in what everyone described as superficial cuts. From there, he returned to his apartment, where he took every pill he had and then tried to assemble a pipe gun just as EMTs broke into his apartment, Pickett says.

Greg says his groggy brother was taken first to Cy Fair Hospital off Jones and 1960 and then on to West Oaks, arriving there at about 3 a.m. on March 21, 2007. Alan had been treated there on an outpatient basis for his deepening depression over the Christmas holidays, Pickett says.

At West Oaks, Alan was initially assigned to Unit 2. At all times he was under suicide watch. He promptly tried to leave the floor and was reassigned to Unit 1, where they could allegedly tighten the suicide precautions and the watch on him. When his medications wore off, he got violent. It was noted on the charts that he should be monitored very, very closely, Pickett says.

Later that same day, in the afternoon, Greg came to see his brother, but Alan was in a bad mood and they talked for only ten to 15 minutes in the TV room before Greg thought it best to go. The next day, Alan's parents came to see him about 4:30 p.m. Alan still had on his bloody work shirt and became upset when his mother tried to persuade him to change it, Greg says. Greg's wife had brought over clothes for Alan earlier. Instead, Alan asked his mother to get him out of there, and when she told him she thought he should stay, he went in his room and slammed the door, Greg says.

By the time Greg and his wife got there, at about 5:15 p.m., their parents were gone. He asked to see his brother, but was stopped at the nursing desk and told his brother might not want to see them. While they waited, an orderly went to Alan's room to check on him, opened the door, hesitated a moment and then said, "He hung himself."

A nurse went in the room, and Greg and his wife were close behind. Alan had looped his makeshift rope over a closet door. They pushed the beds back, and Greg and a nurse began alternating CPR. Greg remembers that his twin's hands were still warm.

As he stayed in the room with his brother, Greg, an engineer with training in emergency trauma at offshore rigs, says the scene was chaotic. One or two of the staff members appeared to know what they were doing, but the rest, he says, didn't. An ambulance finally arrived and took Alan to Memorial Hermann Southwest. Over the next several days his family, including Alan's wife, remained at his side, optimistic that their vigil would have a positive outcome.

That night, as Greg tried to compose himself in the wake of trying to save his brother, he and his wife were pulled into a room with a West Oaks director and another person. "They were saying if people are suicidal, they're going to do it anyway. I couldn't believe they were telling me they have no control."

"What is particularly tragic about this is that he was still in the bloody clothes that he'd appeared in," Pickett says. "They had not changed him into any hospital gowns. Somebody's in a hospital in which they're there for over 24 hours in bloody clothes. Who's paying attention?

"They just absolutely ignored him."

At the time of his hanging on March 22, 2007, Alan Chambers had been at West Oaks for about 38 hours. He died about five days later at Memorial Hermann Southwest, three hours after the family took him off life support.
_____________________

At least every 15 days for more than two years now, Loretta Lilley has carefully saved the same message on her cell phone. It is her one bit of proof that West Oaks administrators knew her daughter had not been cared for correctly.

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37 comments
albalovescholo
albalovescholo

i was held captive in West Oaks Hospital for 6 months. i was abused by being kept in the "quiet room" for 14 hours (no potty break, food, or water) while the law allows only EIGHT HOURS of isolation; they put 100% meal consumption for every meal i ate, but when i asked what constituted 100% of a meal, i informed my "counsellor" that 5 cups of coffee and three cigarettes was all i ever had...so what percentage was it really? she said perhaps 3%. i asked her to change it, and she did, but was not allowed to correct the files from previous days, even though they were COMPLETELY FRAUDULENT.


my shrink visited me perhaps once a week, for fifteen minutes, and said NOTHING, but he billed the insurance company for 5-6 full, 50-minute sessions; he also violated American Psychiatric Association codes of standard practices and ethical codes by APPROACHING ME IN PUBLIC WITHOUT INVITATION, in the company of HIS SON, and spoke to me as though we were old friends.


WEST OAKS HOSPITAL is a MEAT GRINDER, and DR. GEORGE SANTOS IS A LIAR, and a PROFESSIONAL BUREAUCRAT who has only had Board Certification since AFTER assuming the medical directorship of that sinking plague ship.


RUN. RUN FAR, and run FAST from both WEST OAKS and Dr. Santos.

alexispierson0917
alexispierson0917

I feel like most of these stories are not completely true. I went to west oaks last year, they treated everyone just fine. . except for when they were bad, they got punished. The staff there may be strict but not like evil like you guys are making it out to be. But I guess everyone has their own opinions.

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

UPDATE: My mother was physically assaulted my two male techs last night! Adult Protective Services is now involved along with a couple other agencies advocating for Mentally Ill citizens. I'm in the process of having her moved but Dr. STARBRANCH is making it almost impossible. I did get a phone call back from Texas Department of Health Services and they are going to be investigating this hospital! If you or your loved one have been treated improperly by these QUACKS please contact Dee Whiting at 713-767-3337, she WILL call you back if she doesn't answer. I can't do this alone, the more complaints the better for all. WE CAN SHUT THIS HOSPITAL DOWN, as a group! Or you can contact me at lori.walkup@aol.com PLEASE HELP ME TO HELP OTHERS THAT MAY BE AFFECTED BY THESE MONSTERS!

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

I am literally MORTIFIED! My mother was sent there last night by Methodist West Hospital, which in itself, is a questionable medical facility, in my opinion! I was the only visitor and it appeared as though they thought I was a patient but was clearly labeled a visitor. The staff is so incredibly ignorant and lacked any training. A male patient in INTAKE busted a window while in solitary confinement so the staff being uneducated proceeded to put him back with the other mentally unstable folks there. (around 15-20) The male patient rocked back and forth while spewing file and threatening comments to the other patients. He then proceeded to punch the vending machine. There was a 14 yr old young lady that was there because of a rape and the staff allowed her to witness all the craziness. I was forced to leave my mother in INTAKE so I sat in the lobby until I could speak with the "DIRECTOR" who was clueless and did not have control of the staff nor the patients. As I sat in the lobby, the MALE staff members gathered in the lobby to watch the NBA Finals instead of helping with the chaotic situation that was transpiring in INTAKE! Something has to be done about this place and this is not the place to make things happen. PLEASE start reporting these things to Texas Department of Human Services. The Nigerian workers are rude, uneducated and are only there for a pay check. Mentally Ill people are being neglected, abused and treated worse than animals. If this were animals, PETA would have stepped in before now.

Larrybels
Larrybels

My son was here he stated that one of the staff punched him in his side well I went to the supervisor who said that didn't happen here how much can u believe from a child that's here.kids will say anything to get home.well it may have made since at first but then I sat back and said no he isn't making this up because another child seen it.we will make investigation my next question was how do I get him out of this hospital they said oh no we will get the court involved and cps. I had no choice but to leave him well I couldnt visit the next day but the following day I visit my child just as I walked in the door the same staff was working didn't say anything to the staff member but just as my visit began my child stated that the staff had told him I should get u again cause I don't like snatches so I went back to the supervisor who said kids lie they will tell u anything we looked at the tapes and didn't see anything so i dont believe your son.I told him u can't see in the room anyways they try to hold shit above your head with court and cps do whatever u gotta do is how I feel kids are there for help and maybe some people there do care but some feel like they can do whatever they want like being abusive to the kids thinking they scare them.not mine he talks believe me there's alot of shady stuff happen on unit 8.parent teach your kids to tell u everything going on!!!!¡!!!

Mistreated Patient
Mistreated Patient

I was a patient at Texas West Oaks Hospital in 2008 for a self injury problem. (Cutting.) I was in Child Protective Services (CPS) and had a long record of acting out & self injurious behavior. I had already been in most of the Residential Treatment Centers and Mental Institutions in the Houston area, and the ones I hadn't been to rejected me at the sight of my file... so when I was admitted, the average 3-5 day stay was a 6 month stay for me. After 2 weeks, I was ready for discharge, I just had no place to go. The staff members were unqualified and cold-hearted. Their ways were cruel and unusual. When a patient became upset, they would restrain them in ways I couldn't imagine could be legal. I was restrained twice while there, and both times the staff members pulled my arms behind my back and raised them as far as they would go, touching the back of my head. They put all their weight on your back and push you to the floor. Its next to impossible to breath and your arms start to ache and eventually go numb. They call a "Code Green" over the intercom and a nurse rushes to the unit with what patients call "Booty Juice". Its 2 shots, one of Benedryl and one of Thorzine. It makes you feel like a zombie. If they consider you too out of control, they'd throw you in an empty room, sometimes for hours on end.I was prescribed several anti-depressants and anti-pshycotics that made me tired all the time. It was so hard to stay awake, I often took naps during the day. The nurses didn't like it, so they had my doctor write an order to put a lock on my door. I couldn't get in from 7:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m. Most of the time I fell asleep sitting up in the day area. Another thing that is extremely wrong is, one time I got ahold of something in the facility and cut a severe gash in my arm. It obviously needed stitches, the gash was 2 inches wide and you could see muscle. I hadn't intended on hurting myself that bad, so I told the nurse what I did. She laughed at me and wouldn't even give me a bandaid. I didn't end up getting any care for it. This place is corrupt, and no place to go for mental health treatment. I've haven't hurt myself in 2 years, and no thanks to this place.

NABH
NABH

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.Regards:NABH

W.O. Patient
W.O. Patient

I was admitted (against my will) to this "hospital" just a couple weeks ago. As with most of the other reviews on this website, this place is a joke. First off, I was taken to the Ben Taub emergency room in the back of a police car after I had told my counselor that I had suicidal thoughts. The police assured me that my involuntary stay at whatever mental hospital I would check in to I would be out of in 2-3 days. My suicide story was then blown up into making the doctor an Ben Taub to believe that I had a specific plan and means to carry my thoughts out. Neither of those I actually had, but no matter how hard i tried to convince her otherwise, I was told that I would stay in the emergency room until there was a bed at a mental hospital available. Otherwise, I could leave by myself, be taken back by the police, and be committed. If my parents decided to take me home, the same thing would happen, only CPS would be notified. Turns out a bed was not open in any of the mental hospitals around Houston until the next morning. When we heard that West Oaks was available, we looked around for others as we had heard bad things about WO. Nothing was available, so we decided to get my "treatment" over with and just go to WO. Again, my story was exaggerated and nobody would believe me (as I was in a mental hospital I can't blame them too much on that) so they told me to take my shoelaces out and put me in the adolescent boy's unit. I decided that I would do whatever it took to get myself out of the place as quick as possible, so I assumed from what the police CIT said, I'd be gone in two days, and then I'd be back to the real world. I was mistaken. Everyone at the hospital said my stay would be more likely be 5-7 days, depending on how well I recovered. I found out soon after that that my stay would depend solely on my behavior and the behavior of others around me. I went in and told my doctor what he wanted to hear to let me leave. Every patient did the same. We all had talks of how we got to WO and most of the stories involved police and Ben Taub. We talked about how to leave. This basically meant doing what the techs told you, not trying to leave or cause fights, and going to group sessions. Group sessions basically involved the techs talking to you for an hour. Almost no therapy, and the emphasis was the techs. Other than that, the staff thought of the patients as a bother more than anything else. There were some nice ones, some mean ones, mostly indifferent ones. If you caused too much of a ruckus, the nurse would give you a shot that was only known to us as "booty juice" (because guess where they stuck it) which was basically like a tranquilizer. During my 6 day stay, it was given to two different people, neither of which started a fight or was violent in any manner. Other than that, I have read the comment from OldEmployee where the techs talked about their best takedown, and can confirm it. There were kids in my unit that used dip right under the noses of the techs, whether they knew and didn't care or were too caught up in all the other important stuff they were doing (checking their phones) I don't know. The nice techs talked about the quickest ways to leave, and the mean ones assured us we'd be back at WO or some other mental hospital, and if they felt at a loss of power that day, they threatened "lockdown" which made what already seemed like a jail pretty much just a jail. During lockdown, which lasted for no less than one week and could go up to 3 months or so, made group sessions every thirty minutes rather than every two or so hours, and in between group inmates would be confined to their rooms. There would be no discharges, no visits from anyone, no calls out of the hospital. Also, it was up to the patients to make sure no other patients would act out. By the time I left, a very troubled person was trying to control his anger at another patient. None of the techs or any of the staff seemed to care, only the patients tried to help. Twice another fellow patient had an asthma attack in the gym. He couldn't bring his inhaler because it was a mental hospital, and I tried to get the tech to help. All he did was call someone and watch from a distance while I scrambled with a couple other kids to help him keep awake. The second time, a different tech started yelling at him and then laughing at him, and none of the patients dared telling them to do otherwise because they could always give us booty juice on a whim. I could go on and on and on about the total lack of competence this place has, but I won't. Seeing this news story gave me no surprise at all. The whole mental health system that I was put through (especially since I was sent to WO) just made for an awful, unhelpful experience. The only thing I have learned from this episode is to not trust the next counselor I talk to, since if I let my mouth slip about any thought of suicide, I could be placed back here or some other place just as bad. The thought of me being in a mental hospital doesn't make me feel too great either, and I naturally lied as to where I was (I said I was in "a hospital" for the flu), which that started rumors that I was in for substance abuse to top it all off. Now my parents are receiving bills for my stay. All to "stabilize" me from my "dangerous thoughts." In reality, My experience with Houston's mental health system makes me question if they really want to help at all (not that I needed any immediate stabilization in the first place), or if they just want to make sure someone doesn't do something to make them look bad.

Previouspatient
Previouspatient

I was admitted into the adolescent wing at West Oaks in 2008 because I had suicidal thoughts after a traumatic experience. I was 15. The place was dirty, dark and cold (There were roaches and clumps of hair in the bathroom). Other than that, I witnessed something very peculiar. There was a girl in my wing who claimed to have been sexually molested by two of the boys (the wings were co-ed) while the group was outside. I remember that after she told the staff what happened she was locked in her room for two days without company because she was a "problem" and the fact that the boys touched her was "her fault". What a joke

Old employee
Old employee

I worked at this hospital for over 2 years in the business office, performance improvement and accounting. The things that happen behind those locked doors would astonish most of you. If you want your family member to live and not be charged for dying, don't bring them to West Oaks Hospital. This hospital is run by individuals that do not qualify for their positions. The directors and execs are underpaid because they don't qualify. The training to take down an aggressive patient is a joke. Basically, it's a street fight. I've been in many "code greens" where the techs laugh and joke over who had the best "take down." I've seen woman have their arms twisted so far behind their back, I thought it was going to snap. The billing department is a joke. Susan Clour is a stupid bitch that had sex with her boss to get to where she is now. If you have medicare and medicaid, you better hope they pay all of your bill. If you don't, she'll be sending you a bill. Against medicare rules right? Yeah. I'm surprised that this company hasn't gone under. The faulty accounting methods are a joke also. Don't take their bottom line revenue seriously. All the numbers are made up or "adjusted" to make the company look good. If you're family member or friend is sexually active, don't bring them to West Oaks cause a employee will try to have sex with her. If he does, the rest of the employees will try to have sex with her also so they can exploit her. Patients have hung themselves in the middle of the night because techs were sleep or off on a different unit. This place is not a hospital, it's a jail cell. Once you get behind the locked doors, they can file a warrant through the court and have you admitted agaist your will. If you have a mental issue, I strongly suggest that you get care at a different hospital. It will save your life. As for George Santos, he's a self righteous bastard. He's never wrong and does whatever he wants around that place. I was told not to check his charts because he always makes mistakes and they didn't want to report his mistakes to the corporate office. I did anyway and noticed that he would issue a bunch of drugs without justifying why the patient needed the drugs. Most of the people that work their are not quailified to work there. Some of the directors don't even have a BA. Long story short, this place is a death trap.

david
david

west oaks is not there to help i myself was working out of town my wife had a nervouse breakdown whent there for help my wife admit to doin some drugs and wanting to die cause she was upset i had been gone for 6 months next thing u know cps is giving my kids to my sisterinlaw i get back 2 weeks later theyh tell me i can only visit my kidswith my sisterinlaw when i did nothing wrong the thing is west oaks called cps because when my wife did coke not around my kids for the record she had babysitter they asked who cared for the kids the next day cause she stayed up all night she replied with i just lay on the coutch when they need somthing like a pb jelly sandwich when they hungry or whaterver they get what they want and need.when cps did that and my wife got released to do outpaition and the doctor ask how are u she said everything would be good if u didnt call cps when she asked why he did thats what he told her. now my thing is she wanted help shes takin like 20 drug test never once failed one so whats the deal cps says she needs to finish her west oaks there charging me 80 dollas a day for 2 hrs and ironicly they even told her when shell be done 18 days because thats when my insurence stops coverig it. if im not mistakin its against the law for the doctor to release info on anyone unless theres imidiate danger there was none my wife cares for us (fammily) enough to get help she got it however because she told west oaks i used to smoke weed cps treated me like a criminal i took a drug test were someone actualy watched me i got the full custudy of the kids only prob is cps is forcing my wife to finish west oaks very expensive program that is a 2 hour aa meeting everyday. when cps called west oaks they said they are worried because we called west oaks said we couldnt aford it.also instead of aa meatings she whent to a monday night football game and basketball game it snowed recently and we played in the snow with our children and because she didnt do aa west oaks said bad things to cps about bein worried wich theres no worrie now that im hope if anyone is to blame its me for working out of town 6months of the year. the other thing is if my wife said something about me used to smoke weed why does cps know if my wife didnt tell them that. isnt that AGAINST THE LAW.. they also gave false info to cps things like the drugs she was on when she had here breakdown they asked her what drugs she ever didin her life and now all those drugs is what she was on at one time. the point for me writing this is to say west oaks is about money those people do not care when i called for info when i was out of town they hung up on me cause i was askin alot of questions on whats there way of doing this and how u gona help my wife sad thing is they are like the people at mcdonalds they got a job they do what they got to do to pay bills they get there bills payed by conning insurance companys like mine and people with money by sayin someone still needs help when they dont my wife has other problems not drug related and they keep acting like shes a crack head thats wrong i feel if u ever need help talk to family build a strong support from them cause when it comes down to it we/they are the only ones who care and can help and it doesnt cost an arm and a leg ur not riskin going for help and geting harmed u just better off I hope by writing this and u reading the other articles u find another way. my wife was ther 24/7 for a couple of weeks people crap on themselves it takess all day for them to clean leaving the whole facility to smell untill next shift gets there to clean they dont care they are very rude people plz. just find anotherwayfor ur loved one west oaks is crooked. im not speaking on all rehabe/mental facilitys just west oaks in houston texas because i know from experince. MONEEY MONEY MONEY is all they want and they forget that theres peoples familys waiting on this to be done right so they can move on with a bad time in there life.some people do take longer than others but then some dont. look up this place on the internet u wont find anything good.i also understand that some people do need serious medical help however westoaks is not the place

JayR
JayR

Wow. I worked at West Oaks for several years in the early eighties and it was NOTHING like this.

We had training of some kind almost every day.

It sounds like it has gone the way of most other mental health facilities in this country.

Too bad. Someone there should care more. And by 'there' I mean inside West Oaks AND the regulatory boards in Texas whose job it is to oversee them.

And RW - You seem to have a gift for the obvious. What the reporter didn't write about could fill the ocean. Congrats on so cleverly presenting your agenda at the same time that you discount someone else for doing the exact same thing.

RL
RL

Ms. Downing could have authored an insightful article describing the complex problems facing the mental health system in Houston. Instead she penned a grade B movie script, much like a John Wayne western from the 40's, in black and white, featuring the "good guys" and the "bad guys."

She could have investigated how pricing pressures from Medicare/ Medicaid and the insurance companies have forced most psychiatric facilities to close. Psych Hospitals like West Oaks charged $ 400 a day in 1981, and are paid $500-550 now, a decline of 40 % after inflation is taken into consideration. That's if, and when, the insurance companies decide to pay anything whatsoever. The Memorial system caught on faster than others, and closed all their psychiatric beds a decade ago because they were losing money.

Ms. Downing states "When local public psychiatric hospitals' beds are full, they often redirect patients to West Oaks," implying this is some act of generosity on the county's part. She fails to mention these are all charity patients, and that West Oaks provides millions of dollars annually in free care to indigents. In fact, emergency rooms as far away as Freeport or Galveston routinely send their indigent patients to West Oaks, which takes care of them like any other patient, but for free.

Ms. Downing could have examined how Texas ranks at the bottom in the country in provision of mental health services, and prefers to spend its resources incarcerating prisoners, and that many poor people can only get their chemical dependence treatment in TDC.

In a "let them eat cake" moment Ms. Downing implies Menninger's is stooping low to refer to West Oaks. She could have explained how Menninger's charges $1000 a day, payable in advance, and doesn't take insurance. They also don't treat very sick patients, and exclude any one who's suicidal, assaultive, or particularly psychotic. Ms. Downing needs to digest the unfortunate truth that the unwashed masses of middle income Houstonians have managed care insurance and can't afford Menninger's and instead use the services of West Oaks or similar facilities.

She could have even visited the other psych hospitals in the area (i.e. Intracare, Cypress Creek), and she would have noticed they all look the same and operate similarly. She might have even discovered the common denominator of why that is if she'd only looked hard enough (The clue's in the 2nd paragraph, Ms. Downing!).

Perhaps Ms. Downing should be excused for writing a one-dimensional article, since she was constrained to 6 pages or less. Or maybe next time she just needs to do her homework first.

george
george

hey "S", commentor on may 15th, everyone has someone in the family with mental illness, its people like you looking to blame others for it, or critisize others for trying to do what you cant or wont. I dont see any one supporting the hospital or the employees, I see bad reporting, no facts and a bunch of bozo's who dont know how to do anything other than point the finger at some one else in hopes of taking away some of thier own guilt!

cassie
cassie

Dear Sonja, let me just ask you this; how hard would you want YOUR son to fight back in a life or death struggle, with a crazed lunatic wacked out on drugs, that just happens to be a PROFESSIONAL fighter and already put other care givers in the emergency room, that comes attacking him? After you think about that a sec. You might also want to think like a grown up and realize that "most" reporting is one sided, imagine that!!!!! Dare I say it, the public didn't get all the facts? NEVER HEARD OF THAT HAPPENING BEFORE!!!

S
S

THOSE DEFENDING THE HOSPITAL OR THE ARTICLE HAVE OBVIOUSLY NEVER HAD A LOVED ONE CARED FOR BY THIS HOSPITAL. THERE IS PROABABLY MORE TO THIS ARTICLE THAN HAS SURFACED.

Jack
Jack

Sounds to me like the person who wrote this story was on a deadline, had nothing, and went back to re-write some old story she had previously written. Perhaps Ms. Downing would like to do a cover feature story on the chad issue in the Florida presidential election.......again...... I realize that it's the Houston Press and all, but come on- cant you guys write something that is perhaps current news? My opinion is that this article smells fishy - kinda like an attorney thats stirring the pot. Shame on you guys.

kw
kw

DR.Santos is pretty ill himself, a well known fact of anyone who has ever met him.

kw
kw

It's sad to see a reporter, although not uncommon at all, to not get all the facts and go for representing ratings only. I would think West Oaks does a lot more good then any one wants to admit. The other side or issue that no one wants to admit, or acknowledge, is how greatley disturbed these particular patients were. That is why they were not at home with thier perfect, capable family, and why other facilitys would not even try. Seems to me this reporter and the families that are providing half truths should be sued by every one mentioned in this article!!! It is people like this that are the reason there is so little help out there for people with mental issues. Mabe they prefer they go to jail instead as the criminally insane, which is what they were/are/will grow up to be!!!

Sandy
Sandy

Joyce Winters was the Director or Nursing for West Oaks and she was not properly licensed to work as a nurse in the State of Texas.Dr. Santos is known among some as King George for a very good reason, petty, dictatorial come to mind.

Cassey S.
Cassey S.

It is unfortunate that our mental health system is set up so that administrators are well compensated while the persons who actually care for mental patients are underpaid, overworked and do not receive adequate training.

Why is it that facilities are allowed to stay open and provide care for patients even after they receive multiple citations? Texas should be ashamed of itself for the care it is providing for children in juvenile detention centers, mental health facilities and state schools. More and more there are news stories about abuse and neglect of children, the mentally ill and the mentally retarded who are under state care.

I don't think that there should be more funding until these facilities are made to invest in their work force and provide employees with fair pay, adequate training and support--you get what you pay for!

sonja
sonja

So Attorney Guidry wants to sue someone because the hand Fredrick Williams used to beat Mario to death was broken? You go, boyeeee!!! How dare West Oaks not equip Mr. Williams properly . . . say, a baseball bat, brass knuckles, or maybe a shotgun. And how dare Mario's 'multiple rib fractures, laceration of the heart and injuries to his intestines, back, abdomen, chest, wrist, face, neck, buttocks, shoulders, both forearms and both knees' break Mr. Williams hand. He should sue Mario's family also, for wrongful fracture. It seems Mario was overkilled, Fredrick Williams is evil, and his attorney is retarded. Got a little cut on your head, Freddy? I didn't see any mention of stitches, nor an explanation of how an unarmed patient caused the injury. Self-defense my ass - Fredrick Williams is a murderer and a sissy. He wouldn't have taken a patient that could have killed him into that death box.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Ouch. There are a lot of people out there that give doctors a bad name. Unfortunately, they tend to be the only doctors that the poor or middle class can afford. Caveat emptor, I'm afraid.

Amri DeLeon
Amri DeLeon

Well I don't know if County Judge Ed Emmett and Dr. Santos are from the same planet but several years ago Dr. Santos was my doctor while I had a short stay at West Oaks. He is certainly prescription happy, so prescrition happy that I had liver toxicity from all the un-needed meds he had me on. It is sad that the "good ole' boys Club still exists even in the medical field.

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@alexispierson0917 OPINIONS are different from EXPERIENCES being different. your statement is like a White person's experience of shopping in Saks Fifth Avenue and a Black person's experience shopping in the same store.


apparently, you were treated with respect. that is not a common theme at West Oaks, and has not been since the facility opened over 30 years ago. i now hold both a BA and an MA in psychology (216 hours earned in all), so i actually have an academically informed, EXPERT OPINION on mental health facilities and professionals.


i was held and abused for six months, and the fraud who called himself my doctor only released me Against Medical Advice when my mother's MILLION DOLLAR-TO-LIFE insurance was burnt up. he knew my step-father was wealthy, and he decided to keep me until i was 18, and could sign myself out.


i was informed by a Cognitive Behaviour professor in graduate school that in the early or mid-ninetites West Oaks was SHUT DOWN. the doctors in charge/owners were censured, lost licensing, and were fined hundreds of thousands of dollars. it reopened under new management, but for some INSANE reason kept the tainted name.


you make judgements about the truth of others' experiences based solely on ASSUMPTIONS. in your post, you basically call all of us LIARS because no one broke your arm, and lied about it until you were released: THIS CHILD WAS SIX YEARS OLD, AND THEY BROKE HER ARM, AND LIED TO HER PARENTS DENYING THEM ACCESS TO HER.


your experience is apparently rare, because all i find on West Oaks is bad. you are one of two i have seen who defend that crappy place--do you own stock in the facility? the doctors who run it sure do.

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@JayR i was held in West Oaks in the 80's, and i WAS ABUSED. if you recall, Unit 2 ws on lockdown for over a month because the "counsellors" were caught having SEXUAL INTERCOURSE with MINOR PATIENTS.


i was held on ACU for OVER A MONTH (also ILLEGAL) before being transferred to Unit 2 BECAUSE of the lockdown.


if you worked there in the 80's and you saw no problems, you were either never in daily, constant contact with patients, or you were deluded.


do more research, because the doctors you worked for and loved were monsters--they all got into a lot of trouble in the 90's--same fucking doctors you loved.

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

RL- You're a self absorbed idiot in the truest sense of the word! I'd be willing to bet you have some affiliation with this facility! This does NOT happen at all mental health facilities, public or private! This facility sucks insurance companies DRY! If a patient has insurance, they assure a LONG stay. If you are uninsured, you are released without any knowledgeable treatment. Why don't you take a tour of this "Not so Fabulous" HELL HOLE? KUDOS to Ms. Downing for her reporting just a fraction of all the bad things that the monsters at this hospital do to their patients that are there for treatment, not mis-treatment! They are lazy and sedate, rather than treat!

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@george apparently you are either Dr. George Santos (medical director and "psychiatrist" in practice), or you are illiterate. several misguided or lying people here and on other sites praise West Oaks.


DROP DEAD, TROLL.

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

KING GEORGE- Obviously, you have no idea what you are talking about. Mental Illness is not a crutch, it's a true disease....just as diabetes, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. Why don't you educate yourself before you post nonsense? You're a true brainiac, I think not!

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@Jack you are an ass.


West Oaks has been a meat grinder for over 30 years, and her only fault is eventually praising them. she should have done more research, i agree: they were actually closed down briefly, and all doctors got in LOTS of trouble in the early to mid nineties...

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

Hey Jack! Sounds to me like YOU have nothing better to do but comment on something that you have no knowledge of! My opinion is that you should educate yourself before spewing at the mouth! By the way, everyday someone is assaulted and mistreated by this facility. So, with that being said, it is VERY current news....EVEN 4 yrs later!

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@kw i just wasted hundreds of dollars to be treated like crap by him in his office at 5151 San Felipe.


didi you know he has only been Board Certified for 6 years? he was certified ONE FULL YEAR AFTER he took over West Oaks--says a lot.


in the appointment, i mentioned West Oaks no fewer than FOUR times, and i had no idea of his connection to that Hell Hole--he NEVER CONFESSED, or tried to explain and put my fears to rest.


he is cold, arrogant, and UNQUALIFIED--i spent a full decade studying human behaviour. i earned 216 hours in total, with a 69-hour master of psychology, so i am an actual expert myself--he is GARBAGE, and his nurse lies.

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@kw check yourself into West Oaks, and get back to us on that.


stop defending monsters you know nothing about--oh wait!


YOU MUST WORK THERE; it is the ONLY reason someone would so strongly defend something that had NOTHING to do with their own lives.


your opinion is highly suspect.

Lori Green Walkup
Lori Green Walkup

Another uneducated "Gum Bumper" that has NO knowledge of Mental Illness! In fact, I suggest that YOU return back to elementary school so that you can be educated in Grammar and spelling! You're lacking basic elementary skills!

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@Jimmy most doctors are garbage, especially in the great state of tejas. more than anything, this state wants poor people dead.

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@Amri DeLeon i had an appointment in his office on september 5th, 2014, and he called alprazolam a narcotic. that is cop-speak. BENZODIAZEPINES ARE NOT NARCOTICS.


a MEDICAL DOCTOR KNOWS the difference between a narcotic and a benzodiazepine.


he lied to me FOUR times about West Oaks, and is now blowing me off.


i hope he is trapped in a hospital like West Oaks for a few months himself.


my next step is to complain to the AMA.

albalovescholo
albalovescholo

@Lori Green Walkup agreed, and confirmed: my mother had (literally) million dollar-to-life insurance, and they ate it all up in SIX months; i was released AMA, but the "doctor" wanted to keep me until i was EIGHTEEN because my step-father was wealthy and could pay OOP.


this place is HELL. it has been for over 30 years.

 
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