Mom MIA - Advice?

Hello all,

My mom got on a train heading to Massachusetts that was supposed to arrive June 1st; I haven’t heard from her since Friday, June 2nd when she left a voicemail saying to call her back so that she could make sure I was alright. I called her back the next morning, her phone rang through but she ignored my calls, until this morning when it appears her phone is off.

Do any of you have experience finding your loved ones? I tried calling the homeless shelters in the area where she was loosely planning to be, with no luck. Tyia.


I just contacted the police, and apparently she was arrested and was at a correction facility in the area. According to them she is no longer there, and I have no way of knowing where she is.

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Update: I now know what hospital she is at and have contact information for her attorney.


I am so relieved you located your mom quickly, well done!

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It is good that you know which hospital she is in. You can fax the doctor at that facility to give him any information about your mom’s past that you feel he should have. My daughter disappeared several times, was arrested twice and hospitalized 5 times before the nightmare ended when she was put on a medicine that worked (the long acting Haldol shot) The ONLY reason she ended up on that shot was that I faxed the last hospital she was held in and told them what medicine had worked before.


It’s very relieving that you’ve located your mom. I can imagine the situation. The advice that I would give you is that where-ever she is being treated at, please contact them and be persistent in letting them know her WHOLE history medicine and behavior etc. let them know exactly how serious her situation can become and also the medicine she had been or wasn’t compliant in taking. I have experienced that you’ve to be very eager to let the hospital know the situation otherwise they don’t care much.


Was your mom receiving treatment of any kind prior to her travel? Is she normally able to communicate accurately what her mental health needs are? If the answer to that is questionable, you need to let the hospital know what treatment she is on or what she is supposed to getting. Is the hospital talking with you at all to give you some idea of what is going on. What are you referring to when you say “her attorney”? Is she being held involuntarily with a (mental) court-appointed attorney? Or is this related to whatever reason for which she was arrested? Is your goal to get her mental health help in the current facility, or to get her discharged?

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How difficult this situation was for you? How is your mother doing? Do you have family out near her?
I wonder about a type of medical alert bracelet she could wear? My Mom has a lifeline that alerts the one in the family if she needs help?

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Thank you! I’ve reached out to her doctor so many times and gotten absolutely no response; I have his name and phone number, but no fax information. I’m going to call the hospital directly to see if I can get that information. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the medication she was on previously that worked, but I do have an idea of where she went to have it prescribed, so maybe the hospital will be able to reach out directly and get that information. Currently, she’s being held for an additional 7 days involuntarily, as she’s unwilling to speak with anyone at the hospital about what’s happening for her.

Thank you! I’ve been pushing so hard and no one will call me back, or her lawyer. It’s been really difficult, but I’m still pushing to get in touch so that this can actually (potentially) be helpful.

She is being held involuntarily to assess competency because she would not speak during court; she will not speak with anyone at the hospital, either, so I’m not sure how they will gain access to ANY information since they cannot or will not contact me or her attorney. (She was arrested for loitering at and not agreeing to leave/not return to a laundromat.)

She was not previously receiving treatment (other than for three weeks about three years ago, she has not been medicated, and because of HIPPA I cannot find out what medication she had been on that was helping. If I can get in contact with the hospital, they should be able to get that information, but so far nothing I’ve done has worked.

Any recommendations on getting the hospital to call you back? I’ve called so many times and just keep trying to get through, to no avail!

My goal is to get her help here at her current facility, if at all possible.

I wish! She would most likely think I’m trying to track her and throw it away. I’m not great, but I’m okay, just trying to make something good come of this. She’s much the same as she always is on the outside, no matter her environment her stress level stays fairly constant - her internal experience is so hard for her that anything else on top seems to barely register, but I’m sure it’s not ideal and the stress is probably effecting her internal world more than I can see from my position (since she won’t talk to me openly while she’s there.)

I have no family there to lean on, but I’m now just an hour and a half away from her. Planning to go to her next court date and see if I can get a word in edgewise to maybe be able to help them ACTUALLY do something for her!


I was able to find my mom’s doctors personal number and reach out to him by looking him up on Psychology Today. Of course, I’m going to tell him everything I know.

However, my mom has specifically asked that I not take control of her life in any way.

She has agnosia and WILL feel that I’m oppressing and actively harming her by doing this. Should I tell her in advance that I am going to be open with them about my perspective, or should I just do it and keep it between myself and her doctor?

How have you all navigated the emotional side of going against your loved ones wishes?

I am very sorry for your situation. Bad news, but the hospital most likely will never call you regarding your mom unless she OKs them to call you (by signing a HIPPA form stating you can have her medical info). Same for her attorney, he probably won’t call you without her permission due to client confidentiality rules.

I had to just sit quietly 3 of 5 times my daughter was in the hospital as she would not OK me to talk to her or the medical staff.

Since you don’t know the name of medicine she was on that helped, really, there is not much you can do but wait for her to contact you.

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Thankfully I’ve been in touch with her and her doctors; they can’t tell me anything, but I can tell them what I know. If anything, maybe this will help me to build a case for guardianship long term.

One tip from NAMI family-to-family class was to start keeping a journal of the loved one’s struggle with mental illness. I still have the journal I started to record daily events. It was useful information. Even if we aren’t allowed the medical records, we have our own records of behaviors, arrests, medicines, threats, etc. It was especially useful several times when dealing with doctors or police over the years.

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