Front PageSiddhartha Fisher

MFI has just learned that Shield member, Siddharta “Sidd” Fisher will be released from Western State hospital in Tacoma, Washington on October 13.

Alert Update 9/29/2021

There is no need to take further action onbehalf of Shield member Siddharta Fisher. MFI has just learned from Cindi Fisher, her mother, that Sidd will be released on October 13! Cindi wants to thank all of you who took action on behalf of Sidd. MFI asks you to suspend further actions for now. MFI will continue to communicate with Cindi to ensure that Sidd’s new discharge plan is executed, as promised by Western State staff and that Sidd receives all of the support she deserves to live as independently as possibly, while healing from the trauma of years of incarceration and psychiatric abuse.

As Cindi points, this is not the time to reflect on the harm done to Sidd and others at Western State. This is the time for celebration.

Cindy writes:

“Your advocacy, your research, your suggestions, your presence and prayers, your emails to me and them, your calls, your  just hanging in there with us, were all critical to get us to this point of the Victory Dance!

Siddharta is ecstatic, and has begun making plans! And Sidd’s “treatment team” has finally agreed, once again, to our original July 1, plan of discharge into the community.  I am cautiously excited, but Sidd’s joy is contagious, and so mine grows!

There is much more that calls to be spoken to, but now is not the time for that kind of reality check.

If you haven’t registered for the FREE Summit, please consider doing  so and please personally talk and encourage a friend or family member to zoom in as well.

Day 1 is THIS SUNDAY from (9:00-12:00 PDT!
Even if you can’t attend that day, take a look!
https://www.alternatives-conference.org/peerrespitesoteriasummitate 

If it is to be, it is up to WE!

With Love and Gratitude,
Cindi

ReGroundingLove.com

Thank you Thank you, Thank You,f or your support!”

 

Alert Update 9/16/21

Cindy writes about Sidd: “As a Black, Trans, Disabled person, unlawfully confined in a decertified, defunded hosptital, this truly increases her vulnerability to harm”

The good news is that Cindi Fisher continues to fiercely advocate for Sidd’s immediate discharge in accordance with the Olmstead ruling. See below for actions you can take.

The bad news is that the previous plans that Cindi put together for Sidd’s release have been officially dismissed by the discharge planning team. If you recall, at the demand of Sidd’s psychiatrist, Western State took Sidd off the discharge list, to enable a social worker to report to a judge during a recommitment hearing that Sidd was ineligible for the outside services (the ones that Cindi had helped Sidd enroll in) so Sidd was recommitted because there was no discharge plan!

Then capricously, WS staff put her back on the disharge list, only days later. Administratively, this shenanigan had the effect of  undoing months of work by Cindy and Sidd’s advocates to create a independent living plan for Sidd which had Sidd’s buy-in

The discharge planning team is now recommending that Sidd live in an adult care home. As Cindi pointed out, Sidd’s last experience at an adult care home was negative and short-lived, plus it can take up to a year for an opening at one of these adult care homes, essentially dooming Sidd to remain locked up at Western State indefinitely.

Other bad news is that Cindi has been banned from visiting Sidd, her adult child, due to a disagreement involving the mask-wearing policies enforced by Western State. This led to a misunderstanding in which Western State staff accused Cindi of shouting and being combative, and creating safety/security concerns MFI staff has known Cindy for years and has never witnessed her exhibiting any behavior that could be construed as violent or threatening. MFI strongly opposes this characterization of Cindi’s character.

Despite a ban order by Western State, Cindi will continue to hold vigils in front of Western State hospital, noting that it is public property.

 

Join the advocacy for 

Siddharta’s Freedom

on Tuesdays 

 

Next one: September 21, 2021

Please take 2 minutes to copy, paste and email this message to Western State Hospital Administrators …click her

 

***************************************

CALLor EMAIL!

or if you have more time

EDUCATE!! and More Education

DONATE! SHARE on FB! JOIN!

Alert Update: 8/17/21

Cindi thinks your letters are making a difference!

Don’t let up now!

Several days ago, we put out a call for help locating the contact information for Siddhartha’s ‘treatment’ team. Thanks to a devoted Shield volunteer, we have located some of that information. Please scroll down to actions to view contact these people for Siddhartha’s immediate discharge and don’t forget that you can post your actions in the comments section below.

Cindi is ending her forty day consecutive day fast but she continues to protest in front of Western State Hospital every Tuesday

For more details on how you can be in solidarity with Cindi, you can view more details on her website HERE

If you have already taken action based on the original alert dated 7/27 (see below) THANK YOU! If you haven’t taken action to date, or you are new to this Shield campaign, please scroll down to read the original alert and join others by taking action TODAY. You can share Siddharta’s alert with others by going to the alert on MFI’s website  HERE  and sharing the link.

Ron Bassman, MFI’s Executive Director recently wrote this letter HERE

When you take a new action, whether you receive a response or not, please post a copy of your letter/email publicly in the comments section on Sid’s alert HERE 

Scroll down to view actions you can take for Siddharta!

image of Siddhartha, a smiling, dark-skinned woman with long dreadlocks.

ACTIONS posted 8/9/2021

Send an email to every legislator in Washington with a single messae, compliments Jim Gottstein. Use this email washleg@networkagainstpsychiatricassault.org.

Contact the following individuals who are on Siddharta’s ‘treatment’ team who have the power to recommend his immediate discharge:

2) Brian Waiblinger

Medical Director, Western State Hospital

BRIAN WAIBLINGER
PRIMARY HOME
(206) 860-7170
PRIMARY CELL
(206) 799-7797
Address:
525 34th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
3302 N 19th St
Tacoma, WA 98406

3) Ellen Brown

Discharge Social Worker

(MFI has learned through another Shield member that the information of Ellen Brown posted earlier was incorrect. A disclaimer was posted alongside the information stating that MFI was not 100% sure of the accuracy of the contact information. MFI has now confirmed that the contact information posted earlier was incorrect.

 

4) Dr. Zisken

Sid’s psychiatrist

MIKHAIL Y ZISKIN
Primary Home:
(253) 432-8401
Primary Cell:
(253) 222-6248
(206) 819-1015
(253) 222-7953
Address:
8016 56th Street Ct W
University Place, WA 98467
(Outside-house pickets have seemed effective for some folks?)

 

Jocelyn Ronpgren

Psychologist on Sid’s ‘treatment’ team if you can find her contact information, please send it to office@mindfreedom.org

Consider joining Cindi by fasting for an hour, a day, or giving up something you enjoy for a time.  Write the item you are giving up and the time period on a paper plate and send a picture to office@mindfreedom.org so we can circulate.

 

Alert Update: 8/4/21

“Hidden in plain sight. People have no idea how corrupt the Washington mental health system is!” These are the words of Cindi Fisher whose adult child who continues to be imprisoned in Western State Hospital, despite his discharge readiness.

Cindi ended her fast yesterday but she will continue to fast every Tuesday and protest in front of Western State Hospital on Tuesdays until Sid is discharged. She asks for your continued support calling the hospital and officials in the state of Washington (see phone numbers below) to demand Sid’s release.

In this video, recorded live at her protest yesterday HERE She asks that you join her by fasting as a statement of support for Sid and all of the other people who are locked up in Western State hospital.  She asks that you take an empty plate and write down what amount of time you would be willing to fast for Siddharta whether it is an hour or a day or even longer and send a selfie of your plate to Cindi at cindipacha@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Watch Cindi Fisher, Original alert 7/21/21Sidd’s mother, Cindi Fisher, requested that Sidd’s Shield be activated to help her win her freedom. She has been held against her will  for over a year while being forcibly drugged. On the eve of what supposed to be the day of her discharge, she was capriciously taken off the discharge list. Cindi has been conducting a hunger strike in solidarity with Sidd ever since.

You may recall that Western State Hospital was de-certified by the state of Washington and de-funded by Medicaid to the tune of $53 million. Why then, are there hundreds of people, like Sidd still locked up there in violation of the Olmstead Ruling which explicitly states that people should be allowed to live in the least restrictive setting possible within their own communities?

Sidd and her mother both ask for your help demanding Sidd’s release from this unsafe, unhealthy environment..

You can read about Cindi’s solidarity protest HERE

Below is a summary of Sidd’s year-long ordeal and if you scroll down to the bottom of this page you can read ACTIONS to take.

————————————————————————————————–

 

Cindi has waged a battle for ten years to support Sid’s right to live in the community as called for by the Olmstead Ruling HERE

A Mad In America article HERE describes Cindi’s journey from “Compliance to Activism”.

For those of you who have followed Siddharta’s story for many years, Sidd has slowly been letting her mother know for several years that her gender identity is female. Previous articles use he/him pronouns. Today, her mother uses she/her pronouns.

  • On March 27th, 2020, Siddharta Fisher was arrested by police after experiencing a mental health crisis in Vancouver, WA.
  • In mid-April, 2021, Siddharta was determined to be discharge ready from Western State Hospital.
  • After weeks of the hospital not making progress towards discharge, Siddharta and Cindi Fisher took the initiative and worked out accommodations that would accept Siddharta and set up wrap around services from a local mental health agency that Siddharta had worked well with before. The hospital agreed to the plan, but still did not give Siddharta a firm date for release.
  • On June 28, 2021, after Cindi Fisher informed the hospital administration that she would commence a hunger strike based on what seemed like a violation of the Olmstead Decision, Siddharta was given a July 1 discharge date.
  • On June 30, 2021, less than 23 hours before Siddharta’s long awaited release, the discharge was blocked with no explanation before or at the time.
  • Cindi Fisher stated, “For the last 6 weeks, Sidd had such laser focus about getting discharged, and was so articulate about going home and what freedom would feel like. When Sidd’s long and desperately awaited walk to Freedom was revoked by Dr. Ziskind and medical director Dr. Waiblinger less than 23 hours before I was due to pick her up, it had a harsh and crushing effect on Sidd’s mental health. She lost her clarity and hope.”

Cindi’s journey reveals the structural inequalities faced by black and gender non-conforming people like Siddharta who experience increased vulnerability to mental health crisesless access to quality treatment, and the least access to resources to continue care after discharge. Black patients receive more stigmatizing diagnoses for the same symptoms, higher doses of medication, and a higher likelihood of going to jail rather than a hospital for the same actions. *

What makes this situation so concerning to MindFreedom is that Sidd was on the discharge list since April and was signed up to participate in several outpatient programs in Washington to help her live independently in the community in accordance with the Olmstead ruling. Sidd is eligible to receive housing support and other services, partly paid for from a settlement from The Trueblood v. DSHS lawsuit filed in 2014 which challenged unconstitutional delays in competency evaluation and restoration services for people detained in jails.

Sidd was in line to return to her community with a lot of support.

On Tuesday, June 29, the Director of Social Work, Candace Yi, called Cindi to instruct her on the exact place and time to pick Sidd up.

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours before Sidd’s discharge, Cindi received a phone call from administrators saying that Dr. Zisken, Sidd’s treatment team doctor, and the Western State Hospital medical director not only blocked Sidd’s discharge, but took her completely off the discharge list, without any reference of harm to self or others, or prior warning.

Not only did this devastate Sidd, it made her instantly ineligible to receive the transitional housing services and peer delivered services she was set to receive after discharge–in effect, all of the planning for Sidd that took months and months to put together just went up in smoke.

Sidd needs our help to protest this injustice!

 

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE

Call Western State Hospital

253-582-8900.

Leave the message with the answering operator …

“Tell Dr. Waiblinger to Free Siddharta Immediately with NO Restrictions!”

————————————–

Call Governor Jay Inslee

Write
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Call
360-902-4111
TTY/TDD call 711 or
1-800-833-6384.

———————————–

Call Senator Cleveland

District 49  (Sidd’s district)

Olympia Office
360.786.7696

Telephone Relay Service
1.800.833.6384 (voice)
1.800.833.6388 (TTY)’

————————————–

Contact Ombudsperson

Pierce County

Michelle Tinkler or Princene Johnson

1 (800) 531-0508

michelle@tacid.org or

princene@tacid.org.

—————————–

 

*Rethinking Psychiatry’s July newsletter

19 Comments

  1. This letter was sent by Jim Gottstein today:

    Hello Washington State Legislator,

    I urge you to support the release of Siddharta Fisher from confinement at Western State Hospital (WSH), using the previously approved community-based discharge plan and no other conditions or restrictions.

    It has been 4 months since Sidd was ready to be discharged:
    Sidd was put on the discharge-ready list in April. After weeks of waiting for WSH’s discharge plan, it was Sidd’s mother who put together a community-based plan. This plan included supported independent living and wrap-around services from a local mental health agency that Siddharta had worked well with before. WSH’s main discharge social worker and the Case Consult Team, which included Medical Director Dr. Brian Waiblinger, all approved this plan. Sidd was told the date she would be free was July 1.

    Blocked less than 24 hours of being released; coercive medical treatment:
    Yet, Sidd’s discharge was blocked less than 24 hours before her release without being given a reason. Now she is being coerced to take medications that she had previously adamantly refused for a vague promise of release. (Sidd had not been taking the medications at the time her discharge plan was approved.) Sidd is still waiting for a date to be released.

    Hunger strike — WSH violates Olmstead Decision:
    Sidd’s 70-year-old mother, Cindi Fisher, started a liquid-only hunger-strike on July 4, after Sidd was denied discharge. She had to end it 40 days later, after losing 14 pounds. Cindi believes that WSH is in clear violation of the Olmstead Decision, which mandates that people with disabilities be able to receive services in the least restrictive setting, and preferably in their communities. Cindi will continue fasting Tuesdays until Sidd is free.

    WSH—federal investigations; loss of Medicare/Medicaid certification and $53 million annually:
    Because the Washington state legislature exerts significant influence over Western State Hospital, we are reaching out to legislators to help bring Siddharta home.

    WSH was the subject of a 2017 federal complaint investigation over this very injustice: discharge planning practices that demonstrated a clear pattern of undue delays in discharge. Then in 2018, WSH lost its Medicare/Medicaid certification, along with $53 million in annual federal funding over patient safety. The facility’s CEO was also fired over similar safety concerns.

    Western State Hospital is not a place Siddharta trusts:
    This is an issue of disability justice. Siddharta Fisher is long overdue to be discharged and deserves to receive support to live as independently as possible in her community. Wrap-around services are ready with people Sidd feels more trust with than WSH, where treatment is coercive and detrimental.

    Please support the release of Siddharta Fisher from confinement at Western State Hospital (WSH), using the previously approved community-based discharge plan and no other conditions or restrictions.

    Contact Cindi Fisher with questions at cindipacha@gmail.com. See http://www.RegroundingLove.com for more information.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Gottstein

    (907) 274-7686

    406 G St Ste 206

    Anchorage, AK 99501

    http://psychrights.org/

    http://gottsteinlaw.com/

    http://alaskabldg.com/

    Author of The Zyprexa Papers

    https://thezyprexapapers.com/

  2. This is a letter I wrote to Brian Waiblinger and Dr. Mikhail Ziskin:
    Dear ,
    I am writing to request the freedom and discharge of Siddharta Fischer. I support the right of Siddharta and of every human being to be free from coersive psychiatry, forced medication, forced treatment, and unnecessary incarceration.
    Please respect Siddharta’s right under Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999) to live in a less restrictive community setting rather than an institution. The United States Supreme Court held in Olmstead that states are required to provide community based services for individuals with disabilities instead of institutional services when “the State’s treatment professionals have determined that community placement is appropriate, the transfer from institutional care to a less restrictive community setting is not opposed by the affected individual, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking account of the resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental disabilities.” See Olmstead at 587.
    In a letter to Governor Jay Inslee, MindFreedom International (MFI) Director Ron Bassman wrote, “We at MFI implore you to investigate this egregious transgression of social justice. Siddharta is one of many who experience psychosocial problems, and instead of receiving assistance, are confined and over medicated into becoming life-long “mental patients”. It need not be this way. Each life is precious, and we know that all will benefit when there is the opportunity and encouragement to pursue the development of their unique innate potential.”
    Your immediate attention on this matter is appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Dawn D., MindFreedom International member

    • Thank you Dawn! If someone who is locked up and denied many of the privileges so many of us take for granted can make this effort on behalf of Sidd, all of us can pick up our game and take action today for Sidd!

    • The information listed for Ellen Brown , social Worker – is incorrect – the information listed is for another Ellen Brown who has nevered worked at Western State Hospital nor is a Social Worker

      • Thank you for responding with this important information. I took the incorrect information off the website.

  3. Here’s the email I sent to both ombudspeople and the Washington legislators distribution list (below).

    *Please note that I think our original sources may have confused Western State Hospital in Washington with the hospital of the same name in Virginia – I’ve not found a record of any DOJ lawsuit against the one in Washington.*

    —–
    Dear [recipient],
     
    I’m writing to request mercy for Siddharta “Sidd” Fisher, who has been incarcerated in Western State Hospital’s psychiatric ward and subjected to non-consensual drugging for approximately a year and a half with no discharge date in sight. I hope I can convince you to stop enabling Western State Hospital to persist in a course of action that clearly isn’t working, and instead, restore Sidd’s human rights and freedoms so the healing process can begin in earnest. It’s unclear whether the degradation to which Sidd has been subjected is legal, but it’s surely inhumane – and I don’t think there’s any law against doing what’s right and setting Sidd free to return to the community.
     
    As you may know, DSHS has already faced a lawsuit (Trueblood v. DSHS) due to the high number of delays in restoring patients’ rights. Tragically, hundreds of people like Sidd are still locked up in the hospital on the basis of presumed mental illness or disability. Sidd was previously scheduled for discharge in June, but the hospital capriciously canceled Sidd’s discharge despite a wealth of community resources ready to help Sidd reintegrate into living freely in the community. Sidd’s mother described this to MindFreedom volunteers as an incredibly painful blow to Sidd’s clarity and hope.
     
    I urge you to investigate whether Western State Hospital is in breach of the Olmstead Act. How many patients have been held long-term even though the “treatment” is hurting instead of helping? (I’m assuming you’re measuring patient satisfaction and outcomes, and I respectfully request you start doing so if you’re not already.) How many patients have experienced delays or cancellations of their discharge and release? Why is the hospital permitted to hold these people indefinitely? How do the forced drugging regimens at Western State Hospital compare to industry standards? How many of the patients are, like Sidd, from demographics that have already experienced oppression – and why do we, as a society, persist in further oppressing those who have already been hurt the most?
     
    Sidd qualifies to receive housing support and other services, and has a loving mother and a supportive community of volunteers here at MindFreedom. We are eager to receive Sidd back into the land of the free! I write this letter not knowing whether you share my Christian faith, but I feel I should share a word of exhortation from Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
     
    Sincerely,

    Meaghan Graef
    Psychiatric Survivor & MindFreedom International Volunteer
    Phoenix, AZ

  4. lc16@protonmail.com
    importanJuly 27th, 2021
    michelle@tacid.org
    Stored with zero-access encryption
    importanJuly 28th, 2021
    To:lc16@protonmail.com
    Good Morning,

    Thank you for reaching out to me. I have been made aware of this concerning situation and notified the Associations and Washington State departments that may be able to assist.

    Washington State Behavioral Health Ombuds currently do not have access or jurisdiction to assist individuals with concerns at Western State or Eastern State Hospital. A Legislative bill was just signed a couple of months ago giving us authorization to assist, this does not go into effect till 2022.

    Thank you,

    Michelle Tinkler

    Michelle Tinkler, BS-Business-Healthcare Management, CPC

    Behavioral Health Ombuds Specialist

    Behavioral Health Ombuds for Pierce County

    6315 S. 19th Street
    Tacoma, WA 98466
    Ombuds: 253.302.5311 / 800.531.0508

    Office: 253.565.9000 x11
    Fax: 253.565.5578

    michelle@tacid.org

  5. To:washleg@networkagainstpsychiatricassault.org
    A letter of facts re: patient Siddharta Fisher says she is not a harm to herself or others.
    It is a violation of law and morally wrong to hold someone against their will.
    The letter also says she and her mother were looking forward for her release but
    a doctor there stopped it.
    Olmstead ruling has been violated also as stated in the letter.
    Please release her, as by law, is her right. This sort of so called “treatment” is inhumane.

    Tell Dr. Waiblinger to Free Siddharta Immediately with NO Restrictions!

    L. Cohen
    A member of Mindfreedom International

  6. This is an excellent letter written by Janna Weiss in New York (with personal information such as her phone number removed to protect her privacy). She emailed this letter on behalf of Sid to Senator Cleveland. She also tweeted this several times. Go Janna! (This letter will also be uploaded as a downloadable document on our website with the links still attached. Be sure to check our website later for that letter!

    Dear Senator Cleveland,

    I hope you and family are well.

    I am writing on behalf of Siddharta Fisher (she/her) to request her immediate release from Washington State Hospital.
    Siddharta Fisher was scheduled for discharge in mid-April 2021, and then again on July 1, 2021. Her discharge was twice withdrawn without reason. It was withdrawn the last time on June 30, less than 24 hours prior to the planned discharge.
    https://mindfreedom.org/front-page/please-take-action-to-demand-the-release-of-shield-member-siddharta-fisher/

    Psychiatry can be used to help and to harm. Unfortunately, all too often, it is used to harm.
    Coercive psychiatric hospitalization and coercive drugging violate basic human rights.

    Alternatives to coercive psychiatric hospitalization and forced drugging exist in other countries. For example, in Norway, coercive psychiatric treatment has been banned.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-56097028
    https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/12/medication-free-treatment-norway-private-hospital/

    Non-coercive psychiatric treatment accords with the findings and recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (Juan Mendez 2013 statement), Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health (Dignity Must Prevail 2015), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (which the United States needs to sign, ratify and enforce), as well as the repeated demands of disability rights organizations and activists in the United States and internationally: Mind Freedom International, PsychRights, Worldwide Network Against Psychiatric Assault, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Center for Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Surviving Race, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy and others.

    UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez 3/4/2013:
    “there can be no therapeutic justification for the use of solitary confinement and prolonged restraint of persons with disabilities in psychiatric institutions; both prolonged seclusion and restraint constitute torture and ill- treatment.”
    “States should impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs, for both long- and short-term application.”

    You are kindly requested to take urgent action on behalf of Siddharta Fisher, the adult child of Cindi Fisher, to secure Siddharta’s immediate release from Washington State Hospital.

    Thank you very much.

    Sincerely,

  7. Great letter from Michele Diamond a(scroll down to the bottom) nd the response from the ombudsperson in WA that followed…,

    Hello Michele,

    I have sent an email out to NAMI, DRW, and HCA. Listed below are contact information to express concerns about Western State Hospital. I will keep you posted when I hear back from the organizations I reached out to.

    Kathy Davies, Director of Patient Grievance Investigations
    Email: Kathy.davies@dshs.wa.gov
    Phone:253-756-2669

    W.S.H. Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 253-761-7599

    National Alliance on Mental Illness, Washington State
    https://www.namiwa.org/
    Find a local affiliate, state office phone line open regular business hours
    Monday through Friday: 206-783-9264 | 800-782-9264

    Thank you,

    Michelle Tinkler

    Michelle Tinkler, BS-Business-Healthcare Management, CPC

    Behavioral Health Ombuds Specialist

    Behavioral Health Ombuds for Pierce County

    6315 S. 19th Street
    Tacoma, WA 98466
    Ombuds: 253.302.5311 / 800.531.0508

    Office: 253.565.9000 x11
    Fax: 253.565.5578

    michelle@tacid.org

    This e-mail, including attachments, may include confidential and/or
    proprietary information, and may be used only by the person or entity
    to which it is addressed. If the reader of this e-mail is not the intended
    recipient or his or her authorized agent, the reader is hereby notified
    that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is
    prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the
    sender by replying to this message and delete this e-mail immediately.

    From: Michele Diamond
    Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 11:30 AM
    To: Michelle Tinkler ; Princene Johnson
    Cc: Jim Gottstein ; Michele Diamond ; Sarah Smith
    Subject: Siddhartha Fisher- Being held at Western State Hospital

    Ombuddsman for Pierce County,

    This is to inform you that the above listed Patient had coordination of an aftercare plan and a discharge date of 7/1/2021. The hospital has been holding this patient with no explanation to the mother. She has been protesting with others and pleading for the release of her son also known as a “female” now.

    Please help us with the release of this patient immediately. The Patient has spent over 1 year inside this hospital and discharge was planned so Siddharta can live in the community again and with the least restrictive measures as possible.

    We appreciate your advocacy to help with the discharge of Siddhartha Fisher.

    Michele Diamond
    Patient Advocates for US Civil and Human Rights

    Here is some information:

    Human Rights Protection and Advocacy page:
    https://mindfreedom.org/front-page/please-take-action-to-demand-the-release-of-shield-member-siddharta-fisher/

    On March 27th, 2020, Siddharta Fisher was arrested by police after experiencing a mental health crisis in Vancouver, WA.
    In mid-April, 2021, Siddharta was determined to be discharge ready from Western State Hospital.
    After weeks of the hospital not making progress towards discharge, Siddharta and Cindi Fisher took the initiative and worked out accommodations that would accept Siddharta and set up wrap around services from a local mental health agency that Siddharta had worked well with before. The hospital agreed to the plan, but still did not give Siddharta a firm date for release.
    On June 28, 2021, after Cindi Fisher informed the hospital administration that she would commence a hunger strike based on what seemed like a violation of the Olmstead Decision, Siddharta was given a July 1 discharge date.
    On June 30, 2021, less than 23 hours before Siddharta’s long awaited release, the discharge was blocked with no explanation before or at the time.
    Cindi Fisher stated, “For the last 6 weeks, Sidd had such laser focus about getting discharged, and was so articulate about going home and what freedom would feel like. When Sidd’s long and desperately awaited walk to Freedom was revoked by Dr. Ziskind and medical director Dr. Waiblinger less than 23 hours before I was due to pick her up, it had a harsh and crushing effect on Sidd’s mental health. She lost her clarity and hope.”

  8. Here is a letter from a Shield member to the Ombudsperson in Washington

    From: Maggie Leppert
    Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 12:06 PM
    To: Princene Johnson ; Michelle Tinkler
    Subject: Response Requested: Help Protecting a Community Member’s Rights

    Dear Ombuds Michelle Tinkler and Princene Johnson,

    Hello. I am reaching out of concern for a community member who is being held against their will in Western State Hospital. Siddharta Fisher was set to be discharged last month, yet her discharge was cancelled less than 24 hours notice without any explanation. Sidd is not a danger to herself or others. Sidd had established a strong transition plan, and is ready to access her Olmstead rights to live in the community. However, this right has been denied to her.

    The negative psychosocial impact of involuntary commitment is well documented. Holding Sidd unnecessarily can cause tremendous harm by impeding her ability to recover, find independence, and feel control over her own life, which is necessary for psychological healing. This is why we have Olmstead- because living in the community is a right that all humans deserve and can benefit from. I hope you agree with me that helping Sidd find freedom as soon as possible is a top priority.

    Thank you for your time. Please respond with updates on your decisions on what interventions you plan to take.

    Thank you,

    Maggie Leppert

  9. Below is the response of the Washington Ombudsperson

    To: Maggie Leppert , Princene Johnson Subject: RE: Response Requested: Help Protecting a Community Member’s Rights

    Hello Maggie,

    This saddens me to hear what is happening to her. Unfortunately, BH Ombuds do not have authorization or jurisdiction to investigate incidents at Western State Hospital or Eastern State Hospital. There is a bill that was just signed last night that will change all this but it will not take effect till 2022. I will be reaching out to Health Care Authority, Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization, as well as Western States Quality Department and notifying them of this situation. I will also reach out to NAMI and Disability Rights Washington to see if they can provide some direction as well.

    I will follow up with you on what direction is going to be taken.

    Thank you,

    Michelle Tinkler

    Michelle Tinkler, BS-Business-Healthcare Management, CPC

    Behavioral Health Ombuds Specialist

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