"7 1/2 Days" - Kevin Heldman - City Limits

"7 1/2 Days" - Kevin Heldman - City Limits

When Kevin Heldman went undercover at Woodhull’s psychiatric unit, he wanted to experience how low-income people were treated. In 179 hours as a mental patient, he found little care and even less comfort.

by: Kevin Heldman | publication date: June 1, 1998 | Publication: City Limits |

"Around 3 a.m., hair uncombed, face unshaven, wearing a few layers of shabby jackets and shirts, I get off the subway outside Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn. I walk into the lobby and tell the hospital police that I'm looking for psychiatric help. An officer is amused, thinking I was brought to the hospital by the NYPD. 'They just dropped you off, huh?' she says. She escorts me to the emergency room. . . ."

From the City Limits blurb: "When Kevin Heldman went undercover at Woodhull's psychiatric unit, he wanted to experience how low-income people were treated." (All names and some identifying characteristics of patients were changed for publication. Heldman explains that "none of the officials or experts interviewed or quoted in the article were aware that I had been in a psychiatric ward as a reporter."

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