In the spring of 2019, life was particularly tough for a 17-year-old male from Chicago. He ended up in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and eventually checked into a psychiatric hospital.
Never in his wildest dreams did he expect to be locked inside that psychiatric hospital for 67 days — two months longer than was even medically necessary.
The teen, who wants to remain nameless, ended up feeling stuck, hopeless, and frustrated. He had no clue how long he’d be trapped inside those hospital walls.
Meanwhile, the DCFS reportedly tried to keep him from going public with his story.
According to the Cook County Public Guardian’s office, this teenager is not alone in this situation. As CBS reports, over 300 adolescents who were placed in DCFS’s care spent an average of 50 extra and unnecessary days locked in psychiatric hospitals.
“We’re just like being forgotten. We’re just like being locked up in these hospitals as if they were shelters or prisons, and they’re just forgetting about us,” the teen said.
So, while the teen you’re about to meet originally went to the psychiatric ward to seek help for his stress and anxiety, the 67 days of confusion and uncertainty ended up just making his problems worse.
“I’m just glad I got through it,” he told CBS. “I’m really proud of myself for getting through it.”
Watch the video below to hear the explanation given to him as to why he wasn’t released sooner.