Parents of seriously mentally ill children frequently complain that the system ‘has failed them so many times’. Here is the system.
Parents confront there mentally ill children repeatedly and basically tell their children they are sick in the head. The mentally ill child has strange ways of doing things. These strange ways of doing things are bulwarks against coming totally unglued. Am I arguing that mentally ill children are not strange? No. Being strange comes with the territory of being seriously mental illness. There are a lot of confrontations.
Finally an ambulance and police show up at the door and the child is taken away. Hopefully the child is not shot on the front lawn. If the child is over twenty five the stay at the hospital will not be full of counseling and one on one therapy. The child will be put on a different set of medications at high dosages. I am not at all arguing that this approach is wrong. There does not seem to be any other choice. If the child appears to be a danger to himself or others he could be sent the state mental hospital, however, the high likelihood of going homeless is not seen as danger to themselves or others. There is no treatment but med adjustments in the hospital. If the child is sent to the the state mental hospital the child will have passed purgatory and will land up in one the higher rings of hell.
The hospital will not help with housing. Conceivably the child could be referred to a mental health clinic. Mental heath clinics tell funding authorities that they can get individuals back to work. The only individuals on Earth who believe treatments are effective are at mental health clinics. A very ill child will be given treatment orientated at getting the child into the workforce, which of course would be terrific, but given a very favorable scenario a child might be stabilized on medications but will to still be too disabled to work. A child could end up being prepped to enter the workforce for 40 years. If the child says he doing fine though he is just barely hanging on he is fit for work. If he has complaints he needs higher dosages of medications. The mental health clinic is a very tense place for an ill child.
The best available treatments are very frequently not very effective. On the best available treatments very frequently children will have to give up all their dreams for the future. From two weeks to a month later the child will be back home after no treatment except med adjustments. The child had gone through a traumatic time. The child has lost all trust in his or her parents. The process repeats.
The moral of the story is parents should do as much at home as is feasible. Med adjustments can be done at home. The Goldilocks rule should be adhered to, where the right amount of medicine is not too much medicine and not too little medicine. Housing options can be investigated at home. Don’t be confrontational. If a child is a danger to himself or others call authorities but do not call the authorities if the child is strange and do not call the authorities to get the child established in life and on the right track in life. Parents should spend time with their other children away from the ill son or daughter. The ill child will not mind but if he or she is there he or she will be very tempted to speak about everything.
The system does not have very effective treatments and the treatments the system does provide frequently make the situation worse. The buck stops with parents.