Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

This is a rant of frustration

This is also a follow up on my ongoing story on trying to find help for someone who has SZ and help for myself.

On my last post I was telling about how when I called the mental health hotline in my area because my roommate was having delusions and seeing things and hearing things that were not there, the “helpline rep” instructed me to call 911 and so I did. I met with the lead officer (of 7 patrol cars that arrived with bully clubs in hand) and told him I didnt want them to go into my house guns blazing, of which he replied, “but that is what we do”. I then explained how this action will not result in getting my roommate the help she needed and the officer also agreed so, I sent them away. I was left to deal with my roommate damaging my room and eventually she calmed down.

The officer did tell me that I could call the MET team during business hours and that they would send a team out to evaluate her, and so that is what I did, or tried to do.

I called the Mental Health ACCESS Center 24/7 helpline which claims to be the entry point for someone with mental problems and spoke to a rep that told me they could send a team out to interview her. He asked me for her first and last name which I gave him then he asked for her date of birth of which I didnt know so I explained I have no way of knowing that. He then said they can not send a team unless I gave them her DOB in which I again said I have no way of finding out because if I ask her she would reply, “I am the people” or something that wouldnt make sense. The rep then hung up on me.

Needless to say Im infuriated and quite shocked that someone who claims they are there to help people would deny giving help to someone because I didnt know when she was born. This implies that they are unwilling to help the homeless if you saw a homeless person with mental issues as well since you dont know anything about that person. Im sorry but this seems unacceptable in society today and Im wondering if this is standard everywhere or just here in Long Beach, CA. I have not seen any other posts in the forums that even touch on this topic or anything helpful to me that can explain how I go about finding any help for my roommate. My only option I can see now for me is to start the eviction process and push her onto the street. This is honestly a travesty

Also, below is copied directly from the website, if you try to call the number given you will get a fax tone

County Operated Service
Address: 3205 LAKEWOOD BLVD. LONG BEACH CA 90806
Hours:
Operation Hours: MON - FRI 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Walk In Hours: FIELD RESPONSE ONLY
Phones: (562) 496-8273

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Sorry you ran into a roadblock - keep trying to get her birthdate. Did you check to see what birthdate she put on the lease agreement?

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actually how important is the date of birth? it seems like a form formality or something, I might have been tempted to just give them an extimated one to see if it got me any further in the process, (you could always say later that “I thought that was the correct one” )…I am so extremely sorry that you ran into that unfair road block, it is truly a travesty…

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That’s what I was thinking. Give them a DOB… best estimate.

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What a good idea - the MET can sort out the details themselves later

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I was able to find her DOB by searching her name online and doing a bit of “detective” work. I still havent called MET because of the weekend and not being business hours but I will call once they open on Monday. We’ll see what happens then.

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I was going to mention this. If a person has a unique enough name and you have a past address or two, it can be shockingly and trivially easy to find out their DOB. So much for the security aspects of such efforts. My take on all the DOB efforts in legal and medical contexts is it exists largely to prevent accidental releases of the wrong records or administration of treatments and medication to the wrong people. And less so any other “security”.

From work in government and business contexts, liability protections are often more important than actual protections.

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Update: After calling the ACCESS line and talking to a much nicer person than before and giving a DOB I now have a MET team scheduled to come most likely in the morning. Just for your info, they asked me questions like; why does she need evaluation, is she suicidal, does she have any weapons in the house, has she any Covid symptoms and any pets in the house and so on. Hopefully tomorrow she will begin to get the help she needs as well as relive me from some of this stress. Fingers crossed.
I hope that this post will serve some kind of guide for anyone put in this situation or atleast shed some light on what to expect from law enforcement when calling 911. I cant imagine how things would have turned out if I allowed the police to intervene.
Ill follow up again after the MET team comes.

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All the best be prepared on what your sharing with them - have it all written down and your questions good luck

I thought I set up the interview with the MET team but actually it was the Psychiatric Mobile Response Teams (PMRT). Two ladies came and tried to talk to my roommate through a locked door because she wouldnt open it. After 5 minutes of hearing my roommate they told me they will call to set up a bed for her in a hospital and they will also call for an ambulance and police assistance. Finally I thought she will get some help. It didn’t happen. They said that they cannot physically remove her from the house since she was locked in her room and that she would have to get on the gurney on her own will. I knew she would never go willingly and I did inform them that they would have to take her involuntarily. They also knew this after talking to her through a locked door so Im still puzzled why they wasted all these resources (ambulance and police). I looked at them and asked what am I supposed to do then? Clearly this girl needs help and by letting her stay locked up in a room certainly isnt going to do that. Again they said there is nothing they can do about it and left. I have a girl in my house that tells me there are tunnels in the walls and she can hear voices telling her the most horrific things all day and night, she is terrified and theres nothing I can do. Im in desperate need for advice, please can anyone help me. this is my last straw.

Eric, could you call the police station on their non emergency line snd ask if they have a person trained in responding to mental health issues? If they do have some one trained in MHI perhaps they could respond.

Yes I did call the non emergency line 3 times prior and they only sent officers even when I asked for a MET team. They only spoke to my roommate once out of the three visits. Apparently, the MET team only works during business hours and since my roommate sleeps all day the problems usually happen around midnight.

I still have yet to have a MET respond but Im in the process of making that happen. In LA County there are 2 teams, the MET and the PMRT (which responded the last time.)
This also made it very confusing for me since I thought both teams were one-of-the-same. I will show you the mission of each team below:

PMRT- The ACCESS Center, as part of LACDMH’s Help Line, operates 24 hours/day, 7 days/week as the entry point for mental health services in Los Angeles County. Services include deployment of crisis evaluation teams, information and referrals, gatekeeping of acute inpatient psychiatric beds

MET-Mental Evaluation Teams are co-responder teams staffed by a Sheriff’s Department deputy and a Department of Mental Health clinician that work together to assist patrol deputies responding to situations involving persons with mental health issues

Honestly, Im not sure if MET has the ability to take non compliant patients or not, but I do know PMRT does not. BTW its been two days since PMRT was here and there has been zero attempts to contact me or any type of follow up or instructions for me to handle my problems. Im very disappointed with the system here. They know how bad she is and that she needs help but they just dont care it seems. No one even told me that I need to contact MET, I am figuring all this out as I go. No help from anywhere, what a shame.
If MET fails to get her help then my last option will be to charge my roommate with a crime and have her arrested. And that breaks my heart but what else can I do.