Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Help Ideas for Son who is Desperate and lives in a different state?


I received this email from a parent who lives in a different state. Does anyone have suggestions for her?

My son has schizophrenia. He gets worse every year. He court ordered medicine. Then he stops and loses his job. I live in a different state. His father has lost hope for him. Everyone who seems to help he gets mad at. I am afraid that he is at the end of his life. He won’t eat, bath, etc. He asked me for help over a week ago. I don’t know what he means and he won’t answer me anymore. I work in a doctor’s office and I feel so helpless. The last thing I want to do is force my adult child to comply with me. He has turned against everyone else. But We need help. Not sure where to start.


I recommend you contact the NAMI office in the city / state that your son lives in and find out what options they can suggest for your son.

or specifically, here:

Also - you can try the treatment advocacy center - here:

Call them and explain your situation.


Everyone is different, all of us family members and all individuals suffering from these illnesses.

In that situation, this is what I would do for my specific situation:

1.) I would try to establish contact and communication via e-mail (library has it for free), maybe a PO BOX I rent for my family member, also a phone card I photocopy (and send over scan of it in e-mail attachment) and pay for or maybe find out a phone number at a shelter where he stays. I would not send money because my family member has been robbed and has also gotten drunk sometimes.

2.) I would definitely look into local resources as szadmin suggested. If I knew where he was I’d call everyone I possibly could, write letters, try to find a way to provide resources, get him hooked up with services, food (figure out a way to buy food for him?), clothing.

3.) I’d offer a bus or plane ticket home and invite my family member to live with me. (Not an option for everyone)

4.) I’d probably go looking for my family member IF I had the resources and would not lose my job, etc.

Here are some steps you can take from where you are if you can’t locate him: This link has a pdf guide you can download with steps to take to locate your son if he is missing.

Even if you wanted to force your son to do something, you couldn’t. I hope he feels better and has a long life with recovery in a way that he chooses. I hope you find the supports and resources you need.


Based on him reaching out to you and asking for help, and you feel he might be a danger to himself, I would try to contact the police department in his city and find out if they have CIT officers and if they can do a wellness check.


I think this is excellent advice. If there is fear of police, adult protective services (usually social workers) might be available to do a welfare check depending on where the person lives.


When my son reached that state, I had to get on a plane and find him. If he has slid very far into psychosis and delusion, he will not be able to communicate on the phone. My son reached the point where he was producing ‘word salad’ so we couldn’t really communicate by phone or text. He also got Capgras syndrome, where he wasn’t really sure if it was me on the phone.

The good news is that this can be the turning point. When he absolutely has to ask for help, that’s the point where he can start to accept treatment, want it even.

But really I suggest she needs to go to him.


Yes - that is what our family had to do. Its hard to do things remotely. Much more effective to fly out and actually do the actions that need to be done.