Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

National Campaign To Expose Bed Shortage Launched This Week: Hopes To End Psychiatric Boarding

When my son had his first psychotic break at 15, we did not hospitalize after going to the ER because they did not have a bed for him in the hospital’s psychiatric unit. They would have took him halfway across the state, in the middle of the night, alone - without explaining to me what was probably going on with him.

It made me never, ever want to go to a psychiatric intake unit again.

So, 12 years later, when he had one a month or so ago, I called a different hospital that was a dedicated psychiatric facility with a website saying they would do assessments 24 hours a day to make sure they had a bed. I can’t say we were 100% happy with everything that happened there, but they were very casual and low-key during the assessment and he was in a room after about 3 hours, and they had to do an involuntary because he wanted to leave once he was there.

In our hospitals that also have psychiatric units, I’ve been told that once they decide you’re going to be admitted, they have security come out and put you in cuffs until they get you into a unit. That’s not rumors, but what family of people being admitted have told me. One was a 15 year old girl.

I’m sure they have had things happen that make them feel it’s necessary to keep people from leaving, but to me, it just adds to the trauma of going into the hospital.

They definitely need to make some changes.

I had no idea that they were handcuffed but I know they are strip searched each time he goes to hospital. That would be traumatic enough.

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