It is safe to say that most Ontario residents know at least a little about what happened to some of the patients at Oak Ridge, a forensic mental health facility in this Province. Some of the horrors that allegedly occurred at Oak Ridge include outright torture, sleep deprivation, solid food starvation and experimentation with LSD on patients. Fortunately, Oak Ridge closed in 2014 and a civil litigation suit is in progress on the behalf of victims, but we the public should not assume mental health facility abuse is gone for good.
In 2010, a 28-year-old inmate housed at the Shepody Healing Centre of Dorchester, New Brunswick, died under mysterious circumstances. The patient’s mother cited several disturbing incidents involving her son that took place before his death. Two of these include alleged sleep interference and being in restraints full time. The details of how the young man died are not known at this time, but an inquest is currently underway.
All psychiatric patients are vulnerable, even those who have committed criminal acts in the past. These facilities are not in place to punish their residents. Instead, they are supposed to be places where those with mental health issues can get the treatment they need. We hope that the Ontario public will continue following our ongoing litigation against Oak Ridge personnel. We also hope the growing awareness about institutional abuse in Canada will help eliminate this tragic problem.
We encourage you to review the documentation regarding the Oak Ridge case on our website. We also want all Canadian citizens who have been victimized in an institution to know that it is possible to find an effective legal remedy.