Attending a NAMI Family Support Education Meeting Tonight!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, May 23, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    The topic tonight is "In Times of Crisis -- Who Should You Call?" -- the speaker is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who is second in command at our county behavioral services office. husband is going with me, too, which I'm VERY pleased about. He and I agree that there may come a day with difficult child 1 that we woud have to call the police to intervene. Things are better with him since we got him on Tegretol, but he's not out of the woods yet. He still has meltdowns, though not as severe. I'm hopeful the psychiatrist can help us get him better stabilized this summer. But until that happens, we both would feel better knowing how best to call for help in a crisis.

    I'm going to contact our local police dept. also, since I learned that they have the ability to flag a resident's phone number in their system as having a special needs family member, and they have a liaison who is trained in dealing with special needs people so that when a call comes in, they know to approach whatever situations that might come up with more sensitivity (i.e., not coming in with sirens and lights ablaze and guns drawn) and to try to minimize the drama and not escalate a situation that's already emotionally charged. I was told that if someone is behaving dangerously or uncooperatively, there's still a chance they'd be handcuffed, but they would do whatever's possible to diffuse the situation and help transport to the hospital if needed.

    I'll let you know what we learn!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a great meeting to attend! Hope you got a lot of good information.

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Turns out the meeting was geared towards adults -- families with adult children or other adult family members who are mentally ill. That's okay, though. We're not far from having a difficult child that's 18 (26 months to be exact), so I figured we're going to be ahead of the game.

    I learned a lot, and I'm glad husband went so he could hear the "war" stories, because he only hears stuff from me and he doesn't always listen to what I'm saying.

    We did get some resource phone numbers. Learned about the county assessment team and how they work. Learned about how unbelieveably HARD it is to get someone over 18 help who is unstable and uncooperative; you pretty much have to be a clear and overt threat or danger to yourself or others -- psychosis doesn't count unless they are expressing intent to harm, or are not functioning because of it (ie hasn't eaten in days because they think the FBI is poisoning their food).

    Learned about which facilities have bad reputations (according to the other adults at the meeting). Learned that there are loopholes and gaps for getting help -- and that it can be a real challenge. Learned that the system tends to criminalize the mentally ill -- and once you get in the judicial system, your chances of getting appropriate treatment are greatly diminished, especially if you are uncooperative due to your illness, have comorbid diagnosis's (like addiction) and your family does not fight for you (which can be hard to do when someone has been sick for many years and working against you for many years).

    And I learned what to do with a minor who is in crisis -- essentially I can call the assessment team to let them know what's happening, but they will not come out to the house like they would for an adult, and they will not arrange for transport if the child is uncooperative. I have to contact my local police for that. Eventually, though, they hope to have a team that will go to homes for minors in crisis where they will do the assessment at your home and arrange for police transport if you can't get your kid to the hospital.

    Oh, and I learned that our state is planning to cut mental health services even further because of our state budget crisis.

    Overall, for a mentally ill adult in my county, it's not a pretty picture, especially if you are low income or homeless. I'm glad husband heard all this so he can understand just how important early intervention is for our own difficult child's.
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    That is great. I have gotten so much info and help from Nami.