Mental Hospital

Violence Reports at State Mental Hospitals
6:53 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Violence A 'Contant Disruption' At State's Mental Hospitals

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
Credit KUOW/John Ryan

A new report says violence is a “constant disruption” at Washington state’s two main psychiatric hospitals. But the CEO of the state’s biggest mental hospital isn't sold on some of the findings.

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Sanka Party
6:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Sanka Party Brews Activism Inside A Mental Hospital

The Sanka Party's homemade logo.
Credit John Ryan / Northwest News Network

The Tea Party has become a fixture in American politics. But the Sanka Party? Not so much. Other than an interest in hot beverages, the two activist groups have little in common. The Sanka Party got started last summer near Tacoma, Wash., in the unlikeliest of places: inside the walls of the state’s largest psychiatric institution.

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Northwest News
6:47 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Union Raised Staffing Questions Before Murder at Hospital

The man killed at Eastern State Hospital early Tuesday morning died from strangulation according to the medical examiner.  The local union who represents the workers raised questions about staffing levels months before the man was killed.

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Mental Hospital Museum
6:45 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Museum Opens At "Cuckoo's Nest" Film Site

One section of the museum includes props used in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoos's Nest," including this hydrotherapy unit that appeared in several key scenes.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

A 130-year-old mental institution might seem like an odd place for a museum. But historians and mental health advocates have fought to preserve and tell the Oregon State Hospital's long and sordid history.

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Western State Hospital Safety
7:16 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Safety And Suicide At Western State Hospital

The front entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood.
Photo by John Ryan Northwest News Network

Western State Hospital, near Tacoma, is the largest psychiatric institution in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission statement says the hospital--

Actor: "provides a healing environment free from danger, fear, hurt, injury, coercion, or intimidation for people with psychiatric disabilities. … Through vigilant attention and effort, WSH ensures a safe haven."

One week in April, Western failed to live up to those words, and the consequences were dire. Attention was less than vigilant, and two patients wound up dead. In part one of our public radio investigation, KUOW's John Ryan reported on the case of one of those patients. She committed suicide. In part two of our investigation, John looks at the safety improvements Western has, and hasn't, made since April.

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