Mobile Phones Taking Over The Asylum

from the too-much-connectivity dept

Interesting article by the head of a psychiatric institute in New York City discussing whether or not patients should be allowed to have mobile phones. They allowed them – but the chargers had to be kept behind the nurses’ station (so patients couldn’t use the cords to hang themselves). While there were benefits to letting patients connect with the outside world – it also took away some element of the “asylum”: they no longer seemed away from everything. Eventually, though, they decided to stop allowing mobile phones for a very different reason: all of the annoying ringtones became too much for the nurses to deal with. They have no problem with internet connections to the outside world. Patients can bring in laptops and email and IM away. However, the only people allowed to use mobile phones are those looking for jobs, who aren’t thrilled about potential employers calling them on the psychiatric institute’s main line.

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Comments on “Mobile Phones Taking Over The Asylum”

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Anonymous for a Reason says:

from experience

Speaking as someone who has been hospitalized in a psych ward for bipolar disorder, I gotta say that there isn’t any good reason to allow unsupervised use of private phones or internet connections.

People are in there because they are unstable or need help dealing with their lives. The last thing they need to do is surf the net, email, or make outside phone calls. I could easily see this leading to stalking, harassment, or an inability to get some distance from your life. That is what people are really there for. Only if there is a good reason should they be allowed to use a phone or laptop.

A patient really needs to attend therapy sessions to get their head straight and life back on track.

I treasure the time I have spent in psych wards as it has given me great insight into my life. I just don’t think gaining this insight would be possible if doing the daily net surfing bullshitting with friends routine.

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