Rose and Bill West are MindFreedom members in Nebraska. They have issued a public alert about the years of psychiatric abuse they say Bill has experienced. MFI Member Cindi Fisher prepared this alert.
The below alert was prepared for the West family by Cindi Fisher, a MindFreedom member who founded her MFI Sponsor Group “The MOMS Movement.” Disclaimer: MFI did not originate this alert. Author is responsible for content. [Updated 22 Sept. 2011]
Urgent Alert: Wife needs your help advocating for her husband’s freedom. Please call, email or write.
By Cindi Fisher of The M.O.M.S. Movement, MentalHealthRightsYES.org
A MindFreedom International Sponsor
Power of attorney ignored
Rose’s power of attorney (POA) was ignored and a written promise by the local psychiatric hospital was violated.
Bill and Rose have been happily married for 18 years. In the bitter cold Nebraska winter of December 2009, their apartment building was sold. It was difficult finding a place in the middle of winter and Rose was pushed by the mental health team to voluntarily admit Bill to the local psychiatric hospital until she found a new home.
Since Rose was leery of this plan, she had it put in writing that as soon as she found housing, Bill would be released. Though Rose found a wonderful small house for them in just two weeks, Bill has not been allowed to return home as promised since January 2010!
Guardianship given to stranger
Bill has not been allowed to return to live at home with his beloved wife as promised and is now under the court appointed guardianship of someone they had never met and rarely see. Bill is forced to live on the 3rd floor in a group home with three strangers and take psychiatric medication. He wants desperately to be given his freedom so that he can live with his wife once again and choose his own medical practitioners.
Couple’s health and morale in serious danger
Bill’s health and morale have seriously deteriorated. Rose explains that Bill’s “morale is very low and since he has been coerced to take these psychiatric drugs he now has a serious heart condition and has challenges with his breathing, energy level, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight gain. He also has gotten very sick several times while being there.” Meanwhile, Rose is exhausted visiting Bill every day and fighting for his right to come home.
Overcrowding in 10 Block Radius of Homes
Since Rose’s POA was disregarded, she is also fighting to be Bill’s guardian. The owner of the 10 block radius of homes that house people such as Bill is has been under pressure to reduce the overcrowding. It would seem that Bill would be a perfect candidate to be released, since he has a home, a wife who has taken care of him for 18 years, and health practitioners waiting to care for him. The cost of care for Bill in the apartment where he is forced to live with 4 other adult strangers is over $3000/month The cost of the home waiting for Bill to share with his wife is $500/month.
Bill’s parents strongly advocate for His wife to be guardian
Bill’s parents advocated for Rose to be his guardian. They wrote: ”We thank God for Rose as she has been responsible for Bill’s care, keeping a roof over his head, and being his loving companion and wife for 18 years. She has consistently been his guardian in practice and effect for this entire time. She has been his advocate in legal matters, coordinated with mental health and medical practitioners to ensure his health needs were met, and worked every day to take care of his daily needs. This has been a lifesaver for him and we are most appreciative and proud of her for this challenging and divine role.”
You Can Help!
Please call, email or write with civli message to:
1. Tim Shaw
CEO of Nebraska Advocacy Services: The Center for Disability Rights, Law and Advocacy (NAS).
134 S. 13th St., #600
Lincoln, NE 68508.
a) NAS investigate the practices and legal proceedings that led to Bill and Rose West’s forced separation;
b) Rose be given guardianship of her husband immediately;
c) NAS also investigate whether others living in these group homes have experienced similar violations of human and constitutional rights.
2. Lutheran Family Services’ Targeted Adult Services Coordination Department.
643 S. 25th, #11
Lincoln, NE 68510.
Request complete dismissal of Bill West’s outpatient plan at the time of discharge on November 10, 2010, giving Bill and Rose the freedom to choose Bill’s care.
3. Bob O’Gara
Court appointed guardian
530 S. 13th St., #100
Lincoln, NE 68508-2795
a) Bill West immediately be allowed to live at home with his wife Rose;
b) Rose become his payee.
Thank you for your support.
Please help us track our support by emailing Cindi Fisher directly when you respond to this alert at Cindipacha@gmail.com
For other other web resources, including more information on this story, go to MentalHealthRightsYes.org (also find more details of this story) and mindfreedom.org at https://mindfreedom.org.