Back in October I posted about some of the marketing brochures I collected at the NEDA conference. I singled out one from Rogers Memorial Hospital, partly because it was so egregious and partly because Rogers is the closest residential treatment center to my town, and it's the place my daughter likely would have gone had we chosen in-patient treatment for her.
I've been meaning to post the follow-up to that thread, which was that I got a letter from the COO of Rogers Memorial himself. Here for your edification are some quotes from the letter, along with my commentary.
Quote: Your comments and suggestions for improving our brochure have already been received by our marketing department and will weigh in our minds when we revise our eating disorder materials in the future.
Commentary: The point wasn't a critique of the brochure; I was discussing the program. Big difference. Revising the marketing materials isn't going to change your outcomes for the real live people who go to Rogers. Point well and truly missed.
Quote: We would appreciate the consideration of sending us such criticism directly, rather than taking your complaints immediately and directly to a public forum like your website.
Commentary: I'm sure you would. And I'm sure, had I called you with my "complaints," you would have taken them very seriously indeed.
Quote: Advocates for mental health must work together to achieve greater awareness and to break down the stigma that our society attaches to mental health disorders.
Commentary: I'm with you on that one . . . though I think my notion of advocacy is probably not the same as yours. To me, advocacy means empowering patients and their families with accurate and true information, true choices, and effective treatments.
Quote: Schedule a visit to our campus and really get to know our medical staff and administrators who have trained and practice Maudsley approaches and techniques when they are applicable.
Commentary: It's those last four little words that give it away: when they are applicable. Family-based treatment is the standard of care for adolescents. It should be the norm rather than the exception.
I know there are caring staff at Rogers Memorial. I challenge them to take a hard look at their treatment protocols for teens and evaluate them in the light of evidence-based research--then come up with a new vision. You have the potential to do a lot of good. I'd love to see you doing it.