Houston Matters

What Measures Are In Place To Protect Patients In Mental Health Facilities?

A mental health advocate says the key to improving safety is treating mental health issues sooner so less patients have to get care in hospitals and residential care facilities, where they’re at greater risk.

A new lawsuit alleges two teens were sexually assaulted at a Houston-area psychiatric hospital. According to Houston Chronicle, the a lawsuit was recently filed in Harris County court against the Kingwood Pines psychiatric hospital and its for-profit parent company, Universal Health Services Inc. The Chronicle reports Shanti Carter, the facility's CEO, said Kingwood Pines denies the allegations and will fight the case.

That case aside, what controls are in place to ensure the safety of Houstonians in such hospitals? What rights do mental health patients have about their care?

Houston Matters talks it over with Andy Keller, a psychologist and the president and CEO of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

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