LA Times report spotlights safety issues in California psych wards

More than 100 preventable deaths have occurred at mental healthcare facilities in California since 2009, according to an investigative report from the Los Angeles Times.

For the investigation, Los Angeles Times reporters filed more than 100 public record requests to obtain death certificates, coroner's reports and hospital inspection reports from nearly 50 California counties. The results offer the first public count of deaths among mental health patients in the state.

More than 50 people killed themselves while admitted to psychiatric wards in California, while another 30 survived suicide attempts, according to documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

In other instances, deaths were linked to staff members improperly restraining patients or failing to check on suicidal patients in required 15-minute intervals. After nearly every death, the facilities continued to operate and did not incur a financial penalty, the report found.

To view the full report, click here.

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