The allegations in the BuzzFeed story are inaccurate and pure sensationalism. The “reporter-activist” is not interested in providing readers with the truth about Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health or mental health treatment for a difficult patient population. We are outraged at the depiction of events in the article and dispute the contention and assertions in the article wholeheartedly. The article contains numerous inaccuracies while providing no context or detail on individual patient treatment, and ignores the realities and accepted practices of mental health care. We also condemn in the strongest possible terms the use by BuzzFeed of videotape illegally taken from our facility by a former employee. Showing the video to the public without context or knowledge of the patients and their specific diseases and trauma history is simply wrong.
With regard to the use of restraint and seclusion with any psychiatric patient, these are options of last resort when a patient is at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others. They are utilized when all other tools have failed including verbal de-escalation. Restraints and seclusion must be used on occasion particularly in a treatment program like the one at Shadow Mountain considering the specific patient population who often act out their trauma histories through aggression or self-harm. When a patient is in restraint or seclusion, they are subject to constant monitoring to ensure their safety. At all times the safety of our patients and staff is our highest priority. The videos provided as part of the article (without sound) do not show the repeated attempts by staff to verbally de-escalate and diffuse the situations prior to employing physical management techniques. None of the patients depicted in the videos sustained injuries or bodily harm. Shadow Mountain’s use of restraint and seclusion is well below all national averages as reported to The Joint Commission and to CMS through their Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program.
We are proud of the care provided to patients at Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health. The facility has been recognized for the care of patients who have the most complex psychiatric issues with positive clinical outcomes. For four consecutive years, Shadow Mountain received The Joint Commission’s designation as a Top Performer in Key Quality Measures®. Shadow Mountain has a long, collaborative relationship with Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services (DHS) with the common goal of providing the best possible care and treatment to our patients. We will cooperate with DHS in any way possible to demonstrate that our patients are provided appropriate care and treatment. Thousands of individuals’ lives have been positively impacted and improved by the care and treatment they received at Shadow Mountain. The facility’s success is also reflected in positive clinical, evidence based performance metrics.