OR~What a parent must do to access mental health treatment for an adult child

Discussion in 'General Information & Discussion' started by Missizzy, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    A tragic but extremely pragmatic expose on just what a parent must do to ensure a mentally ill adult child receives treatment. I realize that this is Oregon but I'm quite sure that the story is similar in all states. It's heartbreaking. I hope there aren't any parents still out there who think that parenting ceases at age 18 or 21. It's just gearing up.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/03/portland_womans_struggle_with.html

    Portland woman's struggle with son shows difficulty of getting long-term care for mentally ill


    "JO arrived at Multnomah County [OR] Circuit Court anxious and tired from a restless night. "This is the worst day of my life," she said as she walked to a second-floor courtroom for a civil commitment hearing for her 32-year-old son who suffers from mental illness.

    Around a table sat two mental health examiners and a judge, all waiting for the state's attorney and public defender. At least five witnesses, including Portland police, a psychiatrist and a county mental health investigator gathered in the hall. Olson stepped out to find her son's attorney.

    "Officer (Mike) Stradley said he thinks this is a good thing" JO said, "but you know what, it's not his child...."

    and

    "....JO knows her son needs long-term medical attention. His psychotic outbursts have led to multiple calls to the crisis line, 9-1-1 calls, short stays at local hospitals. She's tried to keep him hospitalized when he's delusional and violent, only to be frustrated when he is released days later, no longer deemed a danger. So the cycle repeats, with mom calling the crisis line and often directed to 9-1-1 for help, putting the burden on police to serve as front-line mental health crisis workers.

    JO's struggles are like those of so many families who have children with mental illness. They are forced to go to great lengths -- in this case even with the help and partnership of police -- to get a loved one long-term care. Then they face the ultimate Catch-22: To get help, a person with mental illness must do something criminal or harmful, the very kinds of dangerous acts families are trying to avoid in the first place...."

    more at link


    I can personally attest to this woman's story. It's a full time job to seek care for a mentally ill loved one. And you are on the front line every single minute of the day. Here in Oregon, there are just so few services.
     
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  3. Starry Night

    Starry Night New Member

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    Thanks for such a great post and thread opener. It is such an exhausting and heart-breaking cycle to get help to keep loved ones and others out of danger because of mental illness.
     
  4. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    wonderful look at things.. thank you :)
     
  5. redkatrampant

    redkatrampant New Member

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    thanks for the article!
    There was a recent one here, not for adult care so much,but for mental health in SC period. There was one case where a mother had to get herself hospitalized so they would remove the child from her care and then get HIM help. I'll go find it.
     
  6. peeples

    peeples New Member

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  7. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    Hi Guys - I'm not sure this is the appropriate place for this thread but I do recognize it is a very, very important discussion.

    Mental health in the USA needs some help. I'm thinking I could move this to "Up to the Minute" or maybe the resource area? If I do, will you continue to follow and contribute to the thread? I don't want to lose this discussion.

    Salem

    ETA: looks like the Resources area would be best and maybe change the title to "Mental Health Services in USA"?

    What does everyone think?
     
  8. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    I"ll keep posting, just let me know where it was moved to :)
     
  9. coastal

    coastal Well-Known Member

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    My girlfriend suffers from schizophrenia. When she isn't medicated, she can't function. Her husband asked me to help him get her the care she needed. After many hours of trying to reason with my friend, and honestly afraid for her safety, I called 911. I assumed there was some procedure we'd follow, which would end with my friend hospitalized.

    The policewoman who responded to my call was very concerned that my friend's right to hide, naked, in her own bedroom closet, for three days at a time, not be taken from her. No matter that she "chose to" go without food, water, or toilet for several days...and despite her inability to speak coherently, we (the husband and I) were questioned closely as to our motives, our relationship to each other and to her, our recent activities, and our plans for the future. The ambulance was sent away empty.

    Eventually, I was able to talk my friend into going for a ride with the nice lady in the police car, and she did get the help she needed. But I will never forget the shock of being told that my friend had a right to be as crazy as she wished to be, as long as she did it in the privacy of her own home, and as long as she was not endangering herself or others. "Endangering" = "bleeding", apparently.

    The policewoman said, "It's not against the law in America to be crazy. In fact, it is my job to protect her right to be exactly that, if she so chooses."
     
  10. chemcopout

    chemcopout New Member

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    if you have an adult child who is mentally ill, i would suggest finding a local chapter of NAMI/Familya and joining it.

    http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?...entManagement/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=61015

    nami = national alliance for the mentally ill

    familya = is for family and friends who have an individual who is mentally ill and they offer support by many different means

    in severe cases of mental illness in which medication is required, the most problems seem to occur when the individual goes off their medicine or a doctor may switch the medicine.

    nami and familya offer support for individuals who have a mentally ill family member, they can direct the family to the services that may be needed for support including crisis
     

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