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A Piece of My Mind
December 2, 2009

Inside the Ward

Author Affiliations
 

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2009;302(21):2298. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1646

The County of San Diego inpatient psychiatric unit for teenagers had locks on the doors, and you needed a special key to get in. The yard was wrapped in a fence that soared 25 feet into the air and was topped with metal shards to keep people in, not out.

I was a graduate student in social work, and my supervisor was a maternal woman who wore turquoise squash blossoms and black turtlenecks. She rolled up her sleeves and dialed the parents of patients who didn't know how to help their children, or didn't want to.

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