Dylan sitting on his porch outside of his home.

Dylan spent 10 to 12 hours locked away from other youth when he was 14 and in an Omaha psychiatric facility. He had admitted that he felt suicidal or self harming. In response, his facility put him in "the quiet room."

"It was set up to be the definitition of insanity. Just the four white walls, the camera, the mattress. It was horrible. It felt horrible. It was more anxiety-producing because you're not talking to anyone. If you can't be lucky enough to fall asleep, then you have nothing and it's just waiting for the human being to come back to the door. It's so upsetting, you're along with your thoughts. No one to talk it out with. Not even a window to look out of."

In order to avoid being put back into the quiet room, Dylan lost all trust in the system and changed his future interaction with staff:

"So I learned to never say anything real after that to keep them happy. Even when I did feel terrible and wished I could talk about my depression or suicidal thoughts, I stayed silent."

Read more stories of Nebraskans who spent time in solitary confinment when they were kids and sign our petition to take action.

 

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