Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Lack of compassion and understanding

I am fed up and disgusted with not only the lack of resources for first time psychosis, but the utter incompetence I have dealt with across the board with the mental health facilities we have gone to. I am stunned at the condescending and dismissive attitude we have consistently received at every mental health facility that takes state insurance. I am extremely infuriated with the two crisis walk in centers in our town. Both places immediately, first thing said was we are not a treatment facility and or what drugs is he on. I’m talking within 20 seconds of arriving. Making inaccurate unacceptable assumptions soley based on the person seeking help is a teenage (19) boy. This is always followed by repeated patronizing remarks of how he has to be voluntary. Over and over they say this. He is much bigger than I, he got in car on his own to go to these places to get VOLUNTARY help. I did not carry him, I did not force him in any capacity and I find it unprofessional and extrodinarily insulting that this is the immediate response upon arrival at a walk in crisis center. Stunning really. While I very much appreciate what they represent, I feel as if they would be exponentially more useful if the intake staff were not only trained properly but had a grain of compassion. Extend a little respect, a little dignity to someone who is going through what most people can not fathom. I suppose my expectations were too high for a crisis center. I found the crisis help lines were not much better. Although I was not met with the condescending tone, I did expect a little more than being told to go to the E.R. I do respect and appreciate the sentemant of someone wanting to help. Very much appreciate the thought, however, knowledge and insight goes a lot further than reading a paper that says go to the E.R. It’s like, we just left urgent care and was told to call you, please stop saying go to E.R. I’ve taken someone to E.R. a few times and let me tell you I wouldn’t take my worst enemy there for psychiatric help, let alone a teenager. There has to be more funding, more education and I’m talking about starting in elementary school. We have got to start teaching our children in the beginning that compassion and empathy are critical to everyone. Everyone. And teach them about mental illness like they are taught sex education. If they learn as children, maybe just maybe the response they give as adults will be less offensive, less ignorant.

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It is frustrating, no doubt. You get sent in circles, to the ER to the clinic back to the ER back to the clinic to the crisis line to the police non emergency line. It was a rude awakening to learn just how limited my local resources were, how quickly everyone got to the point of saying “there’s nothing we can do.” I appreciate they probably see thousands of these cases, and it’s all old hat to them, but each of us is new to this and it’s a scary process. I agree a little more compassion would go a long way. The mental healthcare system here in the US is very clearly lacking, to say the least.

I hope you are able to get the care your son needs.

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Yes, unfortunately that’s what I experienced here in Los Angeles. I really had to learn to be an advocate and on our initial county eval, my 16 year old son was told that he would be homeless if he left my house. So disgusting! We moved to Orange County about a year and a half ago, and I can honestly say the services are 100% better - like night and day! Keep searching and advocating, you’ll find something better!

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