In his first day at the hospital, Dr. Froedterdt tried to find out if he was a patient of the hospital.
“The patient asked me, ‘I have a friend who is a patient at the mental hospital,'” he said.
“I said, ‘Yes, we do.'”
The friend had recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which affects the central nervous system.
He was discharged from the hospital with a few days’ worth of medication, but Froedtersd continued to receive care.
He said he would like to be able to visit the hospital to see patients, but the state’s current mental health law requires him to wait two weeks after the hospitalization to visit.
“What’s the problem with that?”
In October, he told the hospital he was in an emergency room, and that he had been in the hospital since March when he was discharged for a blood clot.
“We have to do more to protect them,” he said, adding that he would be happy to help the hospital and other patients if the state would take more steps to protect people with mental illness.
But Froedtrt’s comments drew a quick response from the state Department of Mental Health, which sent out a letter to the hospital’s CEO, and the governor’s office, and several other state officials.
The letter, signed by David Fink, the department’s acting commissioner, said that Froedtordt was a public safety threat because he had the “intent to cause distress or harm” to the people in the mental health care facility.
“A mental health emergency must be met by the immediate and concerted action of law enforcement, the appropriate law enforcement agency and the state, in consultation with mental health providers,” the letter read.
“These actions should include the immediate evacuation of all occupants, the use of the emergency department as an investigative vehicle, and any necessary protective measures.”
Fink also wrote that Frodterdt’s behavior “may be dangerous to the public.”
“If you are an individual who poses a danger to others, you should not be permitted to enter a facility, be a visitor, or leave a facility,” Fink wrote.
The state has yet to send a response to the letter.
But some mental health advocates, including one who works with Froedteringt, said the letter from the department wasn’t enough.
“It is a great sign that the state of Wisconsin is concerned about the safety of the public and the health of our patients, and is not going to just let it stand,” said Mary Ellen Kast, director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ state division.
“That is why it is important for the Department of Health and Human Services to issue an immediate and coordinated statement.”
Kast said the state needs to immediately address the issue.
“This letter doesn’t change the fact that the Department is not taking the threat of the dangerous threat of someone who is in a mental health facility seriously,” she said.
Kast is also working on a bill that would create an oversight body for the state to review how mental health hospitals are operating.
“There needs to be an oversight group to review all the different aspects of a facility and ensure they are safe,” she added.
For Froedt, the situation is far from resolved.
“You’re still here, and I’m still in a hospital,” he told CNN.
“But I’m not going anywhere.
I can’t go anywhere.
It’s just a horrible thing to go through.”