Sunday, July 30, 2017

A testimony from a former resident at Sunrise RTC

I know not a lot of people know much about sunrise or what went on in it. I want to break that barrier. I want to make this as detailed as possible so people can use it as a reference.

If you have any questions, please please please ask. I will edit the more I remember.

  • Personal Information:
  • Date Of Admission: March 19, 2010
  • Age Of Admission: 13
  • Reason Of Admission: Depression, Anxiety, Self-Harm
  • Date Of Discharge (Approximate): January 22, 2011

Please note: I have researched Sunrise on countless occasions, and it seems that the more I read about it, the more I find that what is written is outdated and incorrect. For example:

  • The average stay is NOT 7-9 months. It is 9-11. I have actually seen girls stay up to 18 months.
  • The pictures of girls on the front page of the website and the pamphlets themselves have remained the same since before I attended Sunrise (3-17-2010)
  • The Sunrise website states that the staff ratio is between 1:3 and 1:6. It is more accurately between 1:5 and 1:8.
  • You pay WAY more than $250 a day

Other Information:

  • There is a level system: Safety, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • The girls to all of the cleaning. Twice a day. (toilets, dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, watering plants, showers, etc.) If they refuse to clean, they get dropped a level.
  • Phone calls are monitored. Most girls don't know this, and neither do the parents.
  • One phone call a week to parents only. They can take away all forms of communication if they wish.
  • They let me handle bleach and clean a library unattended with it on safety. When I complained that it wasn't a god idea to expose bleach to potentially suicidal girls, I was threatened to be put on suicide watch.
  • I was told by my staff that Sunrise "isn't a school, it's a business", when girls asked why we're not being taken care of well enough/why they're so revolved around money.
  • When my house "needed an intervention" (we didn't, it was random), we were forced to sit in our rooms for several ours without sleeping, making a single sound, or communicating of any sort. This happened twice. Girls got dropped levels afterwords.
  • There was a cockroach manifestation that wasn't taken care of. In order to actually house so many girls, half of the girls had rooms in the basement.
  • Girls were 3-4 to a room. we had bunk beds.
  • A friend I had there was handcuffed while being transported.
  • Yes, they DO restrain girls and use tranquilizers.
  • My therapist was known for breaking patient confidentiality. She broke it with me and with another girl whose (amazing) parents sued. She was fired after I left.

There are between 32-45 girls there at a time (which I think is more than they claim). The girls are separated into two groups; Yellow House and Blue House. This makes it easier to watch over the girls and manage schedules.

They are all about DBT-based learning. Far more girls who attend Sunrise are "diagnosed" with Borderline Personality Disorder than you would expect.


You MUST get up at 6:15 am, no exceptions. Down to breakfast, then you're forced to run over 2 & 1/2 miles and play a sport after. (If you don't finish laps or actively participate, you are put on academic probation where you must do stay inside and do classwork for two weeks)
Then you have school to 2:45. If you don't finish all of you classwork by the end of the week, you get academic probation. (Ooh, fun stuff: if you are on academic probation, you can't move up a level or go outside)

After school is an hour long group therapy session. After that, one hour and 45 minutes of intense dance or yoga. Then you eat a small portion of food.

I have PTSD as a result and wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares of being sent back against my will.

During my stay, on October 17, 2010, a car accident killed a dear friend and fellow patient, Natasha Newman. Gracie James, another student, was ejected from the passenger seat and as a result, slipped into a coma and was taken off of life support a few days after. There were a few other girls in the car, and a staff member was driving. I wasn't there as I was with Yellow house and this was during a Blue House trip, but at least 10 other students watched this suburban swerve and roll. I know that many articles blame the staff driver, but I would like to kindly say that the writers of these articles don't have all of the information. The staff driver did her best to avoid a collision and unfortunately, suburbans are top-heavy. She was probably the best person to have been driving at that time, because she really did her best and saved three passenger girls.

VERY IMPORTANT: I had to learn this the hard way. If you are at an RTC and one parent wants you to stay, but one wants you to come home, chances are, YOU WILL STAY AT THE RTC.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Book: The Dead Inside

The book is about the stay of Cyndy Etler in the so-called drug rehab Straight Inc. Today known as a rehab program which destroyed more lives than it helped, it was considered one of the best rehab programs for minors when it was created.

The book provides a deep insight in the cult environment which founded the basis of a program where it never was about healing the teenagers but just proving whather ever lose assertion parents might had about possible drug use of their children.

Buy it here:
Source Book or ask for it at your local bookstore using the ISBN-number: 9781492635734

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