904. ViewPoint Center

The ViewPoint Center is located in Syracuse, Utah. On the address a facility mentioned in this block named Island View RTC was located. Bad feedback from patients and parents made the operation of this facility difficult so it shut down and this new facility was started employing many of the employees who worked at the previous facility.

Was it all an effort to escape the poor reviews on the Internet and the newspaper articles about the suicide of one of the teenagers? Many believe so.

The treatment approach seem to have been changed very little.

Also the poor reviews and bad feedback continues to this day. One of these sounded:

I flew my daughter from the East Coast to participate in ViewPoint’s program with a belief they would compassionately and expertly assess her mental health in order to make recommendations for optimal future care. I do not recommend their program.

I withdrew her from ViewPoint during the third week, though wish she had never been admitted.

We hired a consultant in an effort to match her to a residential program, one that would address depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in a gentle and structured manner. Having a short deadline as she was coming from an emergency department, we had little time to locate a solid program who had space and was not constricted by covid regulations.

Pre-admission, I was advised by our consultant that ViewPoint typically did not have “behavior kids” and that most patients were depressed, anxious with suicidal ideation. His perception fell far from reality, as confirmed by physical fights that erupted among patients as well as counselors confirming to me that they often DO have “behavior kids” and that the consultant was misinformed.

My daughter has panic attacks, feeling unable to breathe, terrified. She felt trapped at ViewPoint and began hitting her forehead on the walls when the emotions consumed her, choosing this release over panic attacks – which were more frightening to her. She chose pain and anger over fearfulness and temporary suffocation of a panic attack. Several of these episodes occurred and no one advised me. I was also not advised that she was physically carried into a concrete isolation room and left for hours so that she could “cool off”.

During the three weeks of admission, she was never once allowed outside. At ViewPoint, it is a “privilege” the kids must earn. Under whose directorship are children deprived of sunshine and outside air? Even inmates are allowed the basic right of being human.

It is not an exaggeration that children for whom safety is a concern are put on a cot in the hallway, saturated in typical fluorescent lights of a hallway, to sleep because “they do not have the staff to otherwise watch them.” Again, this treatment was imposed on my daughter without informing me of their actions.

The longer she was there, the more worried she became that her attacks of being overwhelmed would create a negative stigma of her being a “bad kid” and her question was, “Then, how will they treat me?”.

My daughter continues her journey with medication, DBT therapy, psychiatric care, social support and academic structure from the safety of home. In addition to the challenges of depression and anxiety, her therapy now also includes a focus on PTSD of her residential psychiatric experience. She has nightmares and flashbacks.

ViewPoint likely falls within their legal rights of behaving in this manner. Or do they? Where is the line? Their actions would rightly precipitate removal of children from their program if their actions were shared with parents. I can tell you that I received only a trickle of information during the supervised 15 minute video call that I had with her once a week.

ViewPoint crossed the line of primum non nocere. First do no harm.

It does sound like a review which could have been written when the facility was named Island View. It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.

Sources:

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About Rotsne

Danish immigrant, but very integrated. After having worked for another research center, I have recently started working for International Culture Exchange where I serve the youth and their families wanting to become an exchange student.

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