Comment Archives: stories: News: Last 30 Days

Re: “Sanity on Trial

Wow, how did this story escape my radar! Now long retired, I feel like it reads to the core of my early professional roles in the mental health field. First as a psychiatric technician then as a psychiatric social worker at Atascadero State Hospital. Later my career included a stint with CONREP delivering outpatient treatment to and supervision of released patients in the community. I have written numerous reports to judges, voiced my clinical opinion on numerous occasions regarding a clients readiness to re-enter society, testified in courts throughout the state, and even made risk assessments and decisions in part based on review of thousands of individual rap sheets while working for the State of California.

The story as printed seems extremely factual to the process although I must admit it has been several decades since I worked in the mental health field and have not kept current on the most recent changes in law. Some of my earliest occasions to visit Eureka in the late 1980s came about in my role of interviewing prisoners in the HC Jail prior to writing CONREP evaluations to the Superior Court re: those inmates suitability for community treatment.

Heres what I learned then and what I believe now. First, people with mental health issues can clear their mind of symptoms obvious to others in society by taking prescribed psychotropic medication. The extra-pyramidal symptoms associated with taking them leave most almost universally loathe to continuing them when not supervised. Second, when supervised to ensure they do take psychotropic medication their psychotic symptomology abates. When they feel better, they rarely attribute their improvement to the medication. Rather, they see their improvement as evidence they are symptom free and dont require medication any longer. The fallacy in that thinking is they fail to realize/connect to the fact that the only reason they can think more clearly is because of the medication, not some divine healing that has miraculously occurred.

Rap sheets are notoriously incomplete and renown to have omissions of arrest and/or convictions on them. I have also read past studies regarding reliability of certain groups of individuals to make an accurate prediction as to whether persons with a history of mental illness will re-offend. The ones I remember showed that a group of citizens picked at random off the street could predict recidivism with as much accuracy as could a clinical treatment team consisting of therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists. That would be the same clinical treatment team that would have working knowledge of all facets of the patients history and background as well as benefit of prolonged observation of behaviors in the inpatient setting.

One of the most trusted and seemingly recovered (from symptoms of psychosis and effects of a personality disorder) patients I knew and observed over a course of treatment bludgeoned to death a non-clinician maintenance supervisor with a hammer at Atascadero more than twenty-five years ago. It is the only staff murder on record at that institution over the past 40 years that Im aware of. (More than one patient has been killed, however.) Assaults against staff members holding many different job titles are rampant there to the point of being a daily occurrence. More than 1,000 men in that maximum-security level institution are treated under constant 24-hour supervision by staff of multiple disciplines working three shifts around the clock to ensure order and a therapeutic milieu. Many patients, ironically, are there as transfers from the Department of Corrections because, in addition to their criminality, they are psychotic too. In others words, Corrections is sent by the courts those who are bad (only). The Department of Mental Health gets them when they are both bad and become mad.

It is in this surreal, crowded, male only, maximally secure imitation of civilized society that patients under constant supervision and monitored medication compliance are evaluated for their suitability to be released to the community. My sincere belief born from years of clinical experience / exposure to patients within both in and outpatient treatment settings is that the most accurate predictor of future behavior comes from ones history of same.

Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Six Years and Counting

I am a neighbor and when I look at this house I cry. If he is unable to control what happens in his property or do appropriate repairs, he should give it up.

Posted by Emily Rowe on 01/22/2017 at 3:42 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

Truth: I'm with ya sista and it's not you or the marchers my comment was really directed to. It's the women who didn't vote for Hilary that could have swung the election. It is they I hope are never complacent again...


WEEKENDS WITH ALEX WITT 1/22/17
Trump on march: Why didn't these people vote?
President Trump tweeted his reaction to the historic Women's Marches Saturday. NBC's Jane Timm discusses.

Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

Phil Braun we've been awake a LONG time, guess you just didn't notice. That's what the patriarchy does. Refuse to see and listen. Most women have Not been complacent, but most men haven't been listening.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Truth on 01/22/2017 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

I love to see that women have finally awoken the f _ _ _ up! Can't believe their power didn't carry the electoral college while deciding the popular vote. Never complacent again!

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Phil Braun on 01/22/2017 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Elder Abuse Case Against Timber Ridge Yields $5 Million Verdict

The owner and management are very unprofessional and unethical. Many horrible experiences have happened at Timber Ridge, both assisted living and Alzheimer's care. I hope more people will speak out about their experiences at Timber Ridge and they are held accountable or close their doors. Pay your staff and caregivers a decent wage and provide them the ongoing support and training they need. If not, there will be more lawsuits and our community will not stand for it. The fragile elderly deserve better! We will all be elderly one day, think about it, how do you want to be treated. No more excuses and lies from the top down. Keep speaking out if you worked there or had a family member there!

Posted by speakout on 01/22/2017 at 1:56 AM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

Thanks for the coverage and great pics, Linda--we were there in spirit (actually on a long bus ride in Mexico). Gotta get me a pussy hat for next time--and yes, I'm sure there will be a next time. Hugs, barry

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by barryevans on 01/21/2017 at 9:12 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

But thanks for the coverage since I could not be there myself. :)

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by VM on 01/21/2017 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

And Sue Lee Mossman, not Lawson.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by VM on 01/21/2017 at 8:41 PM

Re: “Court Cracks Down on Skipping Jury Duty

My business partners were wanting AO440 this month and used an online service that has a ton of fillable forms . If you are looking for AO440 too , here's summons response letter guideline

Posted by Angel Javire on 01/21/2017 at 7:22 PM

Re: “Largest March in Eureka History

That's Dr. Wendy Ring, not Rain.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michelle Hayden on 01/21/2017 at 6:28 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Eureka Council Passes Human Rights Resolution

Another thing your a liar! I call you out where did you see the Nazi flag? Exactly you didn't. As long as I have lived here I have never seen a Nazi flag displayed.

Posted by Amasiauxor on 01/21/2017 at 4:51 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Eureka Council Passes Human Rights Resolution

Humans are born with inalienable rights. Written rights are an erosion of those rights by the self serving self righteous. The sun shines on Nazis the same as everyone else. Live and let live.

Posted by Amasiauxor on 01/21/2017 at 4:50 PM

Re: “Six Years and Counting

Home is where the heart is. The street is not a home. Like it or not Floyd has a purpose and these people would otherwise have nowhere without him. He keeps these lovelies out of your backyard. You ought to give him a metal. Unlike so called do gooders looking to get their grubby paws on the payee percentage. Yes you can eat but you gotta beg Jesus first.

Posted by Amasiauxor on 01/21/2017 at 4:43 PM

Re: “Silent People in Black Protest on Arcata Plaza

Not for me... Make California Great Again!

Posted by Amasiauxor on 01/21/2017 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Elder Abuse Case Against Timber Ridge Yields $5 Million Verdict

Family doesn't put their loved ones in homes to be looked after by strangers.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Amasiauxor on 01/21/2017 at 4:30 PM

Re: “Six Years and Counting

It's long overdue, the court taking action against the squires!

Posted by Christine Dorsett Santos on 01/21/2017 at 5:11 AM

Re: “Battle for Boomer Jack

Anyone know how I might contact Lincoln Kilian?

The email I have for him from his book's website just doesn't work anymore: info@boomer-jack.com

Thanks!

lanny@kllg.org

Posted by Lanny Cotler on 01/20/2017 at 5:13 PM

Re: “Elder Abuse Case Against Timber Ridge Yields $5 Million Verdict

The decision to provide care under license to an elderly client, whether for one or numerous residents, should not be made by many who nevertheless go ahead and make it. When taking that step, under a license issued by the State of California, they enter into an agreement as to what they must and will provide. In other words, it is a license that has conditions which are outlined in Health and Safety Codes (law) and enforceable regulation. If they fail to meet those conditions, they, as licensees, become financially vulnerable when litigation such as this occurs.

One condition is that they have both medical and functional assessments completed for potential new clients and have them updated as needed for those already in their care.

One condition is that they provide care and supervision as required through that previous assessment of their client's current or potential needs. If they are unable to meet those needs, they should not accept or retain that client. Residents diagnosed with dementia, particularly those showing a known propensity to wander or leave a facility, should not be left unsupervised.

One condition is that they assist their clients by providing the correct medication, to the correct person, in the correct dosage, and at the correct time it is prescribed to be given.

Problems regarding quality of care almost always trace back to cost-cutting efforts made by licensees.

This industry is not like opening a barbershop. A bad haircut can grow back. Mistakes made caring for a vulnerable at risk population can result in injury, death, and/or criminal charges. What do you, as a consumer, do if you are considering placing a loved one in a licensed care home? Drop by unexpectedly. Mealtime will tell a lot. Look around to see how many staff are on duty. Visit the ombudsman's office and read the state inspection reports. Make your choice regarding which care home to choose an informed decision and hope you've made a good one.

Posted by Phil Braun on 01/20/2017 at 3:57 PM

Re: “Elder Abuse Case Against Timber Ridge Yields $5 Million Verdict

This facility also failed to make an appropriate and timely 911 call for a resident who was found unresponsive for "over an hour" and by the time medical personnel were called the resident passed. He was a "full code"....this statement made by the representative of TR is inaccurate - these records are public and can be viewed at the Community Care Licensing website.

Posted by Snoozers on 01/20/2017 at 2:27 PM

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