It’s Time to Get Help (For Loved One For Your Self)

Getting Help For Some One Else

Depending on where you live, symptoms and previous history you may choose to contact your local Crisis Team or 911. A crisis team consists of a group of mental health professionals who will once you call respond to you at your location. The crisis team can help navigate you through the mental health services in your area, triage symptoms, arrange a follow-up appointment and assist you in getting appropriate help. The Crisis team after assessing your situation can sometimes help to defray an inpatient hospital stay, encourage medication use and stabilize symptoms until a clinic provider can see your loved one. Sometimes however the crisis team may decide that an inpatient stay is needed. If they do, they will help to arrange transportation to the hospital. Yet, please know that even if the crisis team feels that your loved one should be admitted the Doctor at the hospital may not agree.

A crisis team can be an invaluable asset to you and your family, but there are times in which you may have to call the police as opposed to or before you call a crisis team. When deciding between calling the cops vs. calling a crisis team ask yourself, are there weapons involved? Is there actual violence or issues related to safety present? A crisis team is a team of mental health professionals, not police officers. Only police officers have the training and expertise to manage dangerous situations and to transport a person against their will to the hospital for an evaluation.

However, just because you call the police and request that they take your loved one to a hospital, there is no guarantee that they will. In general, the police take, removing a person from their home and escorting them to the hospital against their will very seriously. Especially if they arrive on the scene and do not see the signs that you saw, or your loved one appears fine. Unfortunately, just because you feel that your loved one should be taken to the hospital because they are not taking their medications, the police may not feel the same way. Your loved one has a right to refuse their medications, to refuse to see their outpatient therapist or to get help. The question you have to ask your self is how are the signs/symptoms experienced by your loved one negatively impacting them and then be prepared to make a case.

If the police agree with you and take your loved one to the hospital, please know that they will handcuff your loved one. I point this out because many people become nervous when this happens. Handcuffing is a safety precaution for both your loved one and the police; it does not mean that they are under arrest. If your loved one was escorted to the hospital by the police or with the support of the Crisis Team, it does not mean that they will remain at the hospital. It just says that they will be seen by a Doctor who will decide if admission is warranted.
Once at the hospital the decision to involuntary commit your loved one is up to the doctor. Again, just like the police doctors do not make this decision lightly. While “Almost all states allow police and clinicians to initiate short term commitments lasting up to seventy-two hours to handle imminent emergencies” there are legal statues that must be met to hold a person against their will. Please click on the following link for more information and rules in your state (https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/component/content/article/183-in-a-crisis/1596-know-the-laws-in-your-state).

Getting Help For Your Self -Voluntary

Mental disorders are treatable, but many people do not seek out help until their symptoms become severe. If you have come to the point in your life where you feel that you need help, then you are not alone. There is hope and support for you. If you present to the hospital, seek help and are admitted then this would be considered a voluntary admission. Voluntary admissions can help to identify symptoms, clarify the diagnosis and stabilize symptoms.