We took our son to the hospital last night for a psychiatric emergency. He did not feel well, and that fact was apparent to everyone within minutes (despite the immediate “so, what, is he like hyperactive?” judgement from the emergency room staff). Here’s the problem – there were no beds. Well, there were no beds, or they didn’t like the type of Medicaid that he had, we’re not entirely sure what the truth is. I do know that we “chose” to bring him home, with a referral for crisis stabilization services. I use the word “choose” loosely, because home or a hospital 3-4 hours away… It doesn’t really seem like much choice at all.
Crisis stabilization services started today. No offense to the kind, hard-working people who are busting their butts in what must be a tough job, but crisis stabilization services are lame. It consists of a social worker or some other qualified mental health professional coming to your house daily for up to a certain number of hours. That is all. I guess, theoretically, they can help connect with you with community services, but our son is already well connected with services. What I want to know is — how does a social worker in your home every day compare to the hospital? How is this supposed to stabilize our child is in an acute crisis state?
He doesn’t need a freaking social worker! He needs a pediatric psychiatrist who is familiar with acute crisis states. He needs someone who can write a prescription. He needs 24/7 psychiatric nurse staffing to help monitor his safety and response to medications. He needs a safe environment where changes can be made quickly, with medication titrations happening at a rate that we cannot do at home. This is not a child that we just cannot control. This is not a child who is defiant and petulant and oppositional. This is a child who is sick. He is sick. He is not feeling well. He needs medical care. And he was turned away.
And that’s not okay. It is not okay. I am so over a world that thinks my son should just “calm down buddy” or “be a big boy”. I am so over a world that believes he can control this “if he wanted to” or that he just needs someone to come in and hand us a flipping sticker chart. He is not okay. He is sick. And, right now, Virginia, you are failing him. You are failing him and his family, and you are failing him hard.