Overview

Overview of the Crossroads to Change Campaign  (1998 – Present)

Brief Overview

Carole Willey knew these violations were taking place and she set out to prove it.  It all started in 1991, when she observed violations at Sacred Heart Medical Center that caught her attention.  According to the 1999 Spokane County Report, county, regional, and state officials did nothing with the report on violations.  As a result of this report, hospital staff, courts’ officials (including public defenders) and the Regional Support Network’s many administrators ‘talked around’ the issue of due process violations for six years (since 1993) and at times mentioning that maybe inpatients don’t want to attend their hearings. This rationale was again used in 2010 with Emily and 2011 with Sid  at Western State Hospital civil commitments.

From 1991 – 2001, Carole met with many state Legislators educating them on the due process to substantive constitutional procedural due process violations—civil rights violations.  She wrote dozens of letters and emails to two Governors, several state officials, and several state agencies with no one addressing these MH issues.  She even talked to the federal agency which accredits hospitals, with no resolve.

In 2004, Carole tried to start the MindFreedom Washington with four individuals but it did not progress.

In 2006 with the help of two other MH advocates, Carole started the Washington Mental Health Reform Coalition but as her hearing worsened, she found it very difficult to work in group settings. Then the two advocates became very busy with their own lives and Carole viewed that she was doing most of the work and resigned.

 

2006 – 2007 CCC Efforts:     Creating a Written Concept of a Legislative Mental Health Bill

In 2006, Carole Willey gathered information and began writing a MH bill for protection of rights that would change the MH grievances process, change the authority of MH Ombuds services along with the Quality Review Teams reporting, and change the fundamental mandate and the authority of Regional Support Networks. Carole, utilizing her community organizing expertise, was successful in reconnecting with major disability groups throughout her time living in Olympia. It was her hope to educate existing disability organizations and the communities they serve in order to allow for better networking and cross-movement building opportunities.

She utilized her legislative coordinating capabilities and became an organizer for a ‘Protection of Rights’ bill. Additionally, steps were taken to improve mechanisms for more consumer/survivor voices in support of this bill while informing WA citizens of the violations of due process and the fundamental rights of all American citizens.

Later, Carole began building an innovative, consumer-centered promotion solely on violations of due process by writing and advancing this bill, which later led to the creation of the need for Crossroads to Change Campaign. In addition, this bill would allow naturopathic doctors into civil commitment settings to treat the patients or provide services to other inpatients with mental disabilities.

2008 – 2011 CCC Efforts:      Strategy to Expose More Violations

Due to a letter and request to Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire in early 2008, Carole Willey, a social justice activist & community organizer, Chair of CCC, received a letter from the Governor stating that she would assign David Reed, a staff person to work with Carole on these violations. With the documentation of the WA ST Mental Health Division finally acknowledging the “concerns,” the state agency agreed to forward his concerns to their Licensing staff, which they never did.

            On July 10, 2008, Carole, along with witnesses Therese Holiday & Ann Clifton (two healthcare advocates), met with David Reed of the Department of Social and Health Services / Mental Health Division (DSHS / MHD). They met to review her analysis of the two reports and discuss violations of inpatients’ rights at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA.

In the second appointment with David Reed, Carole’s sole focus was on the Report entitled: “Civil Commitment / Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) Survey Results”, dated June 24, 2002. This report may have indicated a lower percentage of the patients who did not attend their hearings when compared to the 1991 documentation.  Reporting information was not clear, but possibly may have been low as 52 percent.  Despite the apparent decrease, these patients were still violated with lack of notice and response which is guaranteed under Washington State law—ex parte practices—within twelve-hours.

          At this appointment, Carole provided David with documentation of a 2005 Citizen Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) complaint against Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA. This document calls attention to a 26-day lapse between the detention of a middle-aged female inpatient and the date she finally received her court papers, called Petition of Initial Detention with Notice of Rights.  Twenty-six days. The Washington Administrative Code allows up to 12 hours for court papers to be served to a patient. This proves violations of due process rights without notice and response and is one example of the flawed commitment process. The documentation from 1991 and 2005 provides strong evidence to substantiate constitutional procedural due process rights violations – civil right violations.

From July to December, Carole, along with her witnesses, met to discuss both reports in the four appointments with the aim for MHD to acknowledge these violations as concerns. During the fourth and final appointment, two new healthcare advocates /activists also joined our group of healthcare stakeholders: Jim Heitzman & Dave Griffins.

2009 – Community Organizing Efforts with New Strategy

 

Each strategy was designed to extend, or rather expand, from a non-usefull, older strategy to more effective, more efficient, new strategy until goals and objectives were met.

From the Mental Health division (MHD) meetings with David Reed, Carole requested notification of MHD meetings in 2009 – 2011 and to be present at all future meetings addressing MH Rule Making or changes in civil commitments. These two agreements were not honored by Mr. Reed.  After sending Carole two below letters, he ceased his communications with CCC.

Carole received letters dated September 16, 2008 & January 7, 2009 From Mental Health Division

September 16, 2008 Quotes

David L. Reed, Manager for Adult and Older Adult Services of the MHD stated, “The documentations you have presented to the Mental Health Division is more than five years old and concerns a single RSN.  The practices you have identified were subsequently rectified and represented a small portion of the detentions in the state.  I have sent you a copy of DMHP Protocols in Appendix I § 6 is a list of Washington

State Case Law.  By utilizing the website:  www.legalwa.org  you can review the listed legal decision of Washington State Courts that have previously affirmed the constitutionality of RCW 71.05’s due process provisions.  Other concerns you have addressed are addressed by statute and are monitored by MHD licensure staff.”

January 7, 2009

David L. Reed states, “I have discussed your concerns with Mental Health Division management.  After review of the additional information you provided at our last meeting regarding an involuntary hospitalization from 2005, the Mental Health Division is unable to endorse your request for action and investigation.  The concerns you have presented are of concern and will be forwarded to our Licensure staff which is tasked with correcting WAC and RCW violations for detained consumers on the part of RSNs, Evaluation and Treatment Facilities and DMHPs.   I look forward to meeting with you again to continue our discussion the ITA process as it is currently implemented in Washington.”

Thus, the State’s inaction caused CCC to develop a new strategy. Due to the fact that Mr. Reed had agreed to meet with Carole to further discuss the MHD’s Licensing staff response, but there was no further information with Carole—he stopped all communication with her.   She had to change to a new strategy by waiting for current violations to reopen communications with state agency officials.

Summary 

Through time the CCC evolved to include statewide disability community leaders and professionals including one attorney devoting his practice to fighting what is known as Forced treatment or forced medication of people with mental disabilities.  In addition, CCC moved from meeting with state agency staff to the Governors Executive Policy Adviser. There were three different groups of individuals who met with Carole and with state governmental officials over a three year period of time.

1.    The initial CCC group’s time was demanding of their own healthcare advocacy work as related to the National Health Freedom Movement with independent or natural practitioners being targeted and ‘attacked’ by the WA ST Department of Health with ‘cease and desist orders’.  (In 2007, Carole founded the Health Freedom Washington to educate Washingtonians of these DOH targeting alternative and supported a safe harbor bill to protect the independent / natural practitioners.)

2.    The next CCC group to meet was made up of solely long time mental health advocates/ activists/ legislative advocates.  Carole wanted to establish our position and solidify this as a mental health issue.

3.    The last CCC group were disability and mental health professionals and a state agency administrator, Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, and focused the meeting around two items: (let’s clean up this sentence)

a.    One item was exchanging documentations between Kari Burrell and Carole Willey.  Kari gave an email and Carole gave her MH Recommendations dated in 1999.

b.    Focused on hearing James Gottstein, attorney, discuss due process problems.

After the last meeting, Carole had to wait to introduce new cases to the last CCC group who had some power and influence with Kari Burrell.   It became a waiting game.

The next phase was initiated to formally create the Crossroads to Change Campaign and to work collaboratively with several other healthcare and mental health advocates as well as both state and federal officials. In 2009, Crossroads to Change Campaign was founded by Carole Willey, BSW.

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