State hospital adviser re-admitted as patient

A conditionally released mental patient who serves on the Oregon State Hospital advisory board is back inside the psychiatric facility after a relapse of mental illness.

Mike Adelman, appointed to the OSH advisory board last year by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, landed back in the state hospital after what he described as “a manic episode.”

The state Psychiatric Security Review Board revoked his conditional release March 18, acting on a county case manager’s concerns about Adelman’s deteriorating mental health.

Now housed in the hospital’s forensic program, Adelman said by telephone that he hopes for a quick recovery and short stint of care at the Salem facility.

“Relapse is a part of life,” he said. “It happens, and you recover from it, and you get back on track as fast as you can.”

Adelman’s hopes for a fast release from the facility hinge on evaluations of his mental health by hospital therapists and a review of his case by the PSRB. A board hearing is scheduled for April 7.

“The board will decide on that date whether he’s ready to go back out, and where that should be,” said Mary Claire Buckley, PSRB executive director. “He had graduated to an independent level. A determination has to be made as to whether he should be at that level or whether for a period of time he should go to a supervised type of housing.”

Adelman’s conditional release was revoked based on the recommendation of his Marion County case manager, according to a March 18 affidavit written by a PSRB staff member.

It says the case manager, Bev Shoopman, reported to the PSRB that he had been hostile, irritable and “unwilling or unable to take direction from her,” and that “in her opinion, Mr. Adleman’s conditional release should be revoked because his mental health has deteriorated such that he can no longer be managed (in) the community.”

Adelman, 42, initially was committed to the state hospital in December 2003 after a Marion County judge found him guilty except for insanity of arson and resisting arrest.

In Oregon, criminal defendants found guilty of crimes but insane at the time go to the forensic program for treatment instead of to prison. More than 400 forensic patients are housed in outdated, crowded facilities along Center Street NE in central Salem.

The PSRB reviews each patient’s progress at the hospital and determines patient discharge dates.

Conditionally released patients can be sent back to the hospital for violating conditions set by the board or because of recurring mental illness.

In 2005, Adelman was conditionally released from OSH after about 16 months of treatment. Back in the community, he made regular visits with his case manager and progressed to independent living. He also became an advocate for better patient care and conditions at the state hospital.

Adelman linked his recent psychiatric problems, in part, to flawed medication management and a rocky relationship with his case manager. As his condition deteriorated, he experienced sleeplessness and mania.

Before his conditional release was revoked, Adelman was hospitalized for about a week at Salem Hospital’s psychiatric center. By March 18, therapists there determined that he was ready to be discharged, according to the PSRB affidavit. However, Shoopman reported to the PSRB that Adelman still required hospitalization.

“In Ms. Shoopman’s opinion, Mr. Adelman cannot be managed in the community,” states the PSRB affidavit. “This opinion is based on her past experience with Mr. Adelman when he has been in a similar manic state.”

On the afternoon of March 18, Adelman was transported from Salem Hospital to the state hospital. That same afternoon, the most recent meeting of the hospital advisory board occurred at OSH.

Adelman said he was disappointed about not being able to attend the board meeting. He also described his return to the forensic program as “rough, really rough.”

Adelman initially was housed on Ward 50G, a medium-security treatment unit packed with 40 patients. He shared a room with four other patients.

“The ward’s overcrowded. Every single bed is full,” he said.

A day or two after Adelman was admitted to the ward, an altercation occurred — one patient assaulted another in the 50G laundry room. The violent patient was moved to a maximum-security unit.

For Adelman, the assault revived bad memories about violence he witnessed and experienced during his previous hospital stay. In an upbeat development Friday afternoon, Adelman said he was looking forward to a planned transfer to a minimum-security unit.

“I’ve heard the milieu is a lot better,” he said. “The patients are good, and I’ve heard they allow you a lot more privileges.”

Hospital superintendent Roy Orr said Friday in an e-mail to members of the advisory board that Adelman’s position on the panel will be placed on hold.

“We all know recovery is non-linear,” Orr wrote. “It is not a step-by-step process. It involves some setbacks, and it involves learning from experience.

“I know we all support Mike in his recovery and look forward to his return to active board membership.” or (503) 399-6709