Patient Protest at a New Jersey Mental Hospital

Patients at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, New Jersey, are protesting new rules and therapy sessions, according to an article in NJ.com, Parsippany psychiatric hospital patients boycott therapy sessions, protest new rules.

Nearly half of the 432 patients at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital have signed a petition or boycotted therapy sessions this month to protest new rules they say further limit their activities and force them to attend programs that don’t help in their recovery, patients and an advocacy groups say.

Almost half the patients at Greystone Park have the nerve to tell hospital officials something is not right within its walls.

The conflict arose Aug. 1, when managers at the hospital in Parsippany reduced the number of visits allowed to the Park Cafe, a commissary and meeting place for patients, from every weeknight and weekends to twice a week.

The patients petition also complains about recently limited access to a library and a computer room.

A department official said that the café hours were cut in order to get patients to participate in “more recovery-oriented, evidence-based treatments”.

Christopher Badger, a patient for nearly four years, said he speaks for several “high-functioning” patients who describe many treatment programs as little more than coloring, playing board games and listening to music. State officials dismissed the claim by some that the changes were intended to prevent them from having access to such things as cigarettes and drugs.

Coloring books, board games, and music listening…I wonder whether such “recovery-oriented, evidence-based treatments” even “work” in kindergarten.

New Jersey’s protection and advocacy agency, Disability Rights New Jersey, has even come out as sympathetic to the patient’s complaints.

Greystone Park is one of 5, soon to be 4 (Yay deinstitutionalization!), state hospitals in the state of New Jersey.

Although the hospital has been unmoving with regard to patient grievances, it is our hope that this pressure will compell the hospital to give more consideration to the self-determination and stymied rights of patients confined within its wall.