Holiday Madness

Looking for quick help, some patients instead found themselves locked in a county mental health unit and not going anywhere.

In a mental health crisis at an inconvenient hour with no excellent alternatives immediately at hand? Go to NPC, go to HCPC.

Chances are, there will be people working at both those places who are wonderful, dedicated and save lives. Some others, patients will just have to survive. Adam Hayes was occasionally uncomfortable, but profoundly grateful. Robertson got her medication adjusted, even if it did mean she became a prisoner.

Attorney Bill Savoie says anyone "showing up at HCPC and expecting a shoulder to cry on or some sort of therapy to take place, I don't think that's going to happen at all."

Kelly Robertson says she was trapped in the mental health care system.
Monica Fuentes
Kelly Robertson says she was trapped in the mental health care system.

But even Savoie, as upset as he is about what his friend Kelly Robertson went through, says: "At the end of the day, the system worked."

Thanks to Robertson and other courageous people like Hatton, Gonzales and Hayes who are forthcoming about their illnesses, we have been accorded a disturbing inside look at a stay at the county's two main facilities for emergency mental health care.

The system worked. It can work better. If you were trapped in there, wouldn't you want it to?

margaret.downing@houstonpress.com

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