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Outside In: Kings County Psych by Charlie Gross

Sammy and Mya at Canarsie Pier after the day at PHPSammy and Mya at Canarsie Pier after the day at PHP

Summary:

Outside In: Kings County Psych, is an online archival project developed by 2020 RU resident artist Charlie Gross at NYC Health & Hospitals/ Kings County (for Kings County)/ Behavioral Health Service (for the Psychiatric Department) in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Originally intended as an in-person exhibition on the premises of the hospital, Gross shifted to a website with images and interview excerpts realized with subjects remotely due to the pandemic and from periods of the residency in which in-person engagement was possible.

This project documents meetings and interactions with young adults in the hospital’s 6-week Partial Hospitalization Program as they transition from inside to outside, from inpatient back to their lives, while managing symptoms, medications, trauma, socio-economic headwinds.

“The images from Outside In: Kings County Psych, a project designed for my residency at Residency Unlimited (RU) in 2020, were taken at the Behavioral Health Service of NYC Health & Hospital/ Kings County in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Outside In: Kings County Psych documents meetings and interactions with young adults in the 6-week Partial Hospitalization Program as they transition from inside to outside, from inpatient back to their lives, while managing symptoms, medications, trauma, socio-economic headwinds. I am grateful to everyone who trusted me enough to share some of their story and of what it’s like to be in the highs and lows of their minds.

The history of 200 year-old Kings County Psychiatry—memorialized by Ol' Dirty Bastard ("In the G Building takin' all types of medicine")--is also a part of this story. After years of neglect and the much-publicized death of Jamaican immigrant Esmin Green in the waiting room, a dramatic reset began for a hospital that cares for one of the most underserved, trauma-affected, and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in NYC. Kings County, once the “symbol of a health-care system” that has “failed horribly” (CNN), is now considered a "model acute care psychiatric facility" (U.S. Department of Justice) filled with engaged and creative clinicians that create a space between hospitalization and the chaos of life.” Charlie Gross

This program benefited from the support of NYC Health & Hospitals/ Kings County (for Kings County) and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 

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