Ruth Stanley Interview
When Ruth Stanley moved to Indiana, she took a job at Fort Wayne State Hospital in 1968. She moved on to Central State Hospital in 1982. Ruth talks about the differences see saw in the two state hospitals. One big difference was the higher turnover in staff at Central State. Ruth felt the community environment played a role in the turnover rates.
When asked about her biggest successes, Ruth mentions the Sagamore of the Wabash she received for her work in getting Central State accredited. She says her biggest challenges were keeping qualified staff and well-maintained buildings. To help the situation, Ruth formed a board of directors for Central State to assist with the politics of running a state institution. Ruth goes on to explain what led to the closing of Central State and the plan for moving residents out of the state hospital.
In the 1970s and 1980s, professionals realized people could have a dual diagnosis. Ruth explains the difficulty was finding doctors who had knowledge about mental health issues and developmental disabilities. She says, “It's hard for me to say whether there was ever a change in medical training if they didn't have a practice session somehow that enabled them to see people with one or the other, or with both.” Ruth also discusses the development of psychotropic medications, changes in community attitudes, and barriers to services. Ruth was interviewed in 2013.
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