Randall Burns, the Director of Behavioral Health, on Feb 1, explained to the House Health and Social Services Finance Subcommittee the overcrowding crisis in psychiatric facilities including psychiatric emergency rooms.
Mr. Burns while explaining the crisis stated that books have been written concerning the downsizing of state-run Alaska Psychiatric Institute. As long time patient advocates we do not need books to explain the lack of beds and lack of quality care for acute care psychiatric patients.
Every major hospital in Alaska through their lobbyists and influence pushed for a smaller API, knowing that if there was a crisis in care for psychiatric patients, they could step in and make a lot of money.
Hospitals like Providence Alaska Medical Center Psychiatric emergency room is not set up to properly care for acute care psychiatric patients for 2 or 3 days and poor treatment hinders recovery.
A decade ago a Seattle hospital had psychiatric patients lined up in the hallway, strapped down to gurneys. You could hear patients crying out to go to the bathroom, for a glass of water and see staff just walking by. With the continuation of poor planning in Alaska, that is where Alaska is heading, all so a few facilities can make money.
Faith Myers and Dorrance Collins,