Metro Psych Facility is a private psychiatric hospital owned and operated by Metro Psychiatry Incorporated. It is the actualization of a dream of a group of psychiatrists to be able to provide alternative care for individuals needing psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation. Even before Metro Psychiatry Inc. was formally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February 24, 1999, majority of its Board of Directors, being experts in the field of psychiatry, have been involved in advocacy and provision of mental health services as a group and as individuals. Most of the members of the Board of Directors worked and some are still connected with the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong. We have seen how psychiatric patients are treated in the said government facility and rejected by their own families and the society. The said patients are regarded as nuisance, burden and some families even wished them dead. This maybe because psychiatric patients at the height of their symptoms are distressing and some of them become physically violent. When Metro Psych Facility was created, we made sure that the practices that we did not like in the government psychiatric hospital will not happen in our facility. The physical set up of the facility was designed attractively and spaciously so that patients will not feel that they are being punished and imprisoned.
The work forces were screened carefully on their views on mental illness and we made sure that all of them had no history of working in any psychiatric hospital. We patiently trained them so that what we envisioned was followed strictly. We wanted our patients to feel secure and make our facility a refuge where they can stay in times of crises brought about by pressures from work and family. We instill to our staff the values of honesty, loyalty, respect and love for their family. We want our patients to be treated properly and view their admission at the facility as a positive experience where they can feel relief of their symptoms. We believe that psychiatric patients are still capable of leading a normal life only if their psychiatric symptoms are controlled. We envision a facility that provides activities to slowly integrate them back to their family and society in general. We also involve their families in the treatment process for them to fully understand their patient. Families should be educated on the nature of the psychiatric illness of their loved ones so that they are ready to identify and deal with future relapses, as this is inevitable.
We initially catered to both psychiatric and substance abuse patients, but the set-up was not helping either type of patients. The substance abusers made-fun of the psychiatric patients and at the same time they were so bored as the program being implemented is for the psychiatric patients only.
A review of some epidemiological studies from the US revealed that 25 to 50 percent of newly admitted psychiatric patients have concomitant drug and/or alcohol abuse problems (Simon et al). Similarly, in New York State, the Commission on Quality Care for the Mentally Disabled found that 50 percent of the patients admitted for psychiatric care had alcohol or drug abuse that required treatment. In another review of 100 clients in a psychiatric out-patient services in New York State who have received extensive psychiatric care, and who were known substance abusers revealed that 61 of the clients had never received substance abuse treatment. Many of these clients accepted the lack of availability of substance abuse services, and kept their substance abuse problems to themselves.
Initial assessment showed that statistics at Metro Psych Facility would corroborate such findings. A review of 270 admissions from May 1999 to December 2000, 78 (29%) had concomitant drug and/or alcohol abuse problems. Many of them have been discharged improved of psychiatric symptoms but without the benefit of intervention for their drug and alcohol problems.
Encouraged by this response and inspired by an apparent need for a diversification of the services it provides, a sister company was established to put up a drug rehabilitation center in its second floor – Roads and Bridges to Recovery. A vision for both companies was established: