When Kit Mead entered her first psychiatric ward at George Washington University, there was no system of patient-based ratings gathered in one place online or anywhere else. “While reviews of psychiatric units of hospitals do exist on Yelp,” says Mead, “they are inconsistent and scattered.”
“There was no single review site, created with the explicit purpose of creating change and emboldening psych ward patients, and certainly no such site run by a former patient herself,” Mead points out.
After leaving the hospital, Mead dedicated a review blog to just psych wards, and as of November 2016, Psych Ward Reviews was covering 88 hospitals and 82 cities, with a total of 102 reviews. This type of feedback is critical, Mead says, “because institutional settings run rampant with unchecked abuse.”
Currently, there is no comprehensive data monitoring system that could hold psychiatric wards accountable but documenting instances of abuse and neglect right now, could show policymakers and the public that we need to explore alternatives to denying someone their autonomy.