A group which represents disabled individuals has sued South Carolina’s mental health agency, claiming the department often keeps patients isolated for years despite less expensive and better treatment options.
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., (P&A) filed the class-action lawsuit in federal court this week against the state Department of Mental Health (DMH), its director John Magill and the commission which oversees its operations. The organization is acting on behalf of six individuals who were admitted to the G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital in Columbia.
The lawsuit claims adults are “unnecessarily and illegally segregated” at Bryan, sometimes for years, because DMH officials have not developed community-based mental health services in many parts of South Carolina. “Contrary to modern and generally accepted methods of providing mental health care, this isolation at Bryan may last for years, possibly decades,” the filing says. [Read more…]