When will mental health really matter?
January 15, I received a phone call. I started taking notes:
‘Bridge. Jumped. 100ft. No pulse. Broken back. Broken legs. Broken arms. Broken pelvis. Broken sacrum. Broken sternum. Broken ribs. Unconscious. Paralyzed.’
My son jumped from a bridge to end his life. He survived. He is alive. He is mad, he is angry. He is still hospitalized.
Referral packets started being sent out this past week, and they were all denied. They had originally said that if that happened, they would remove the sitter from his room, and re-send them. The sitter has not been removed, and they had all of the denials in on Thursday. As has been stated before, the Psychiatrist and Mental Health Counselor don’t spend any real time with B, they don’t provide counseling to him, and are in and out of his room in 3-5 minutes.
If they are basing their decision to not remove the sitter from his room based on the notes the sitter takes, I am certain they are reading them completely out of context. It is absolutely normal for him to mourn the loss of movement by walking, absolutely normal to be depressed having to stay in one very small room for 7 weeks, absolutely normal to be pissed and grumpy and agitated because you’re being woken up every 2 hours, and can’t get solid sleep. The things he’s saying are to be expected. They should know this. They know the referrals will be denied if there’s a sitter in his room - so why send them? Why get his hopes up in telling him that you’re sending them out? If they want to see improvement in mental health, why are they not meeting with him to really talk with him, to really understand? This is the part of our mental health system that fails so many. This is the system that has failed Bailey. Not just now, but time after time.
Daily, we are seeing and hearing of others who have taken their own lives, who are suffering with such severe depression that just getting out of bed is a challenge. People who are drowning their sorrows with alcohol, people who are screaming for help, with some screams being silent, but their actions are what is screaming.
What are you, as an individual, as a family, as a company, as a community going to do about it? What are we, as Counties, States, as a Nation, going to do about it? When will really matter?