People Protesting Region Ten's Use of Security Guard at Preston Ave. Office
Some Region Ten clients are protesting the organization that is meant to help them. They're upset about a new security guard posted at one of its locations.
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Some Region Ten clients are protesting the organization that is meant to help them. They're upset about a security guard posted at one of its locations.
A group held a protest outside Region Ten's office on Old Lynchburg Road Monday, May 14. The protest was held at the same time as Region Ten Board of Directors met at that location.
Region Ten clients, health advocates, and activists are upset with the agency's decision to place a security guard at its Preston Avenue location.
The protesters say having a guard where clients register makes them discomfort, intimidated, and may be exacerbating potential symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The group says Region Ten is not a jail, and you wouldn't see a guard at other outpatient clinics.
"What it boils down to me is provider stigma. That's the type of stigma that comes from the mental health providers themselves. Obviously, if we are the consumers saying we don't see any reason why we need security, it must be for them," said Myra Anderson, mental health advocate.
Region Ten says the security guard in question was reassigned to the Preston Avenue location after another wellness center temporally closed.
In a statement, Region Ten says in part, "this step of having security is not new, is not a change in approach, and, most importantly, is not meant in any way to intimidate our consumers."
A consumer advisory committee is set to meet Tuesday, May 15, to hear concerns from clients.
05/14/2018 Full Statement from Region Ten:
Region Ten makes organizational decisions based on the good for the whole – 6 localities, 9,000 consumers and 650 staff. We make therapeutic decisions based on individual needs, wants and desires through the treatment process. Region Ten seeks to have organizational decisions and therapeutic needs align. We are always working to improve and welcome feedback to continue to make good decisions...
In light of national events over the last several years, Region 10 [sic] has elected to periodically employ a security guard to deter those who might wish to harm our consumers, visitors, and staff. This step of having security is not new, is not a change in approach, and, most importantly, is not meant in any way to intimidate our consumers. Indeed, the exact opposite is true – we want our consumers to feel safe when they come to our facility. In addition, Region 10 [sic] has an obligation to keep everyone safe on premises, be they consumers, visitors, or staff, and as I’ [sic] sure you can understand, we risk liability if we fail to take steps to do so.