A client called me yesterday morning and said his treatment team at Chicago Read Mental Health Center had informed him that if I attend his upcoming monthly staffing, they will need to hold it somewhere off the unit. The reason given was that I have published confidential information in this blog.
So after I am done rolling on the floor laughing... I have to conclude that keeping me off the clinical unit, away from “patients”, is intended to prevent... what, exactly?
The “disclosure of confidential information” problem is a classic red herring. I looked back over my blog posts, and I have carefully, meticulously, avoided doing that. Any names of clients appear only because they are already public, and by the client’s own choice. For example, I represent two plaintiffs against a former social worker on L Unit at Elgin Mental Health Center named Christy Lenhardt. Ms. Lenhardt, a married white woman in her fifties with two sons in their twenties, seduced these two young black men and coerced them into sexual relationships.
This was a class 3 felony under Illinois law. It’s been all over the media in the USA and internationally. If the cases were not loudly public, there is a good chance the whole thing would be swept under the proverbial rug. Various other clinicians and administrators at Elgin (aka, DSH) are being sued for collaborating and enabling the felony, in violation of strict reporting requirements, etc. A third case will be filed soon, as well.
Illinois Department of Human Services facilities (“mental health centers”) are plantations. They hold slaves whom they euphemistically call “patients” or “recipients of services”. Maybe the reason the treatment team at Chicago Read wants to hold my client’s staffing off the unit is... they’re afraid that I could be effective as an abolitionist? Maybe they think my very presence will infect slaves beyond my current list of clients with dangerous abolitionist thoughts? But... I never even talk to anyone but my client when I’m there.
Oh! That’s not 100% true... In fact, I talk to staff as much as I can. Maybe somebody higher up the food chain is afraid I’ll infect staff with my abolitionist ideas. Maybe some of those well-intended helping professionals are getting tired of covering up for the real criminals, the overseers on the plantation, the abusers.
If so, call me! Ask a patient for my cell number.
Psychiatria delenda est!