Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What now? Discharged to where?

My son was committed. He’s been calling , sounds good, says he is taking his medicine. Wanted to come home. We stood our ground and said this hasn’t worked in 12 years, you need to go to longer term place so taking meds and treatment sticks. I called the next day and asked them to have my son call us. they said “theres no one by that name here” Evidently they discharged him… to street? another facility ? They would tell me nothing. I’m so worried. This was on Friday. I know he would call me if he could, though he has no phone. This is crazy… they can just say he’s safe… Tomorrow I am calling and telling them I am filing a missing persons report, so they can tell me or police, where they discharged him too. I know HIPPA, but come on. We are a very supportive family. I asked if they would just discharge someone to street. They said “we try not too.”. ugggg. Any suggestions???

The missing person’s report sounds like a good idea. What happened?

you should try getting him in to a group home, it will provide him with sonem structure…if you dont know, group homes are a place where mantally ill folk can live with the guidance of a staff being psych nurses.

How frustrating , yes i would file a missing person with the police , This HIPPA law is getting too much !

Called police, and they put him on missing persons list. Police found out he was discharged, out the door, on friday, when it was in the 90s, no food, no drinks, no money. Today, a lady called me and said my son had bern sitting on the curb by her office all day. Again in the upper 90s. She gave him water . Finally he gave her my number and she called me. This was 14 miles from where he was released on Friday. He was sunburned. hungry and Thirsty. I still can’t comprehend that SUN BEHAVIOR in Georgetown De, would do this. But, we are back to square 1. No meds, nothing has changed. My husband and I are exhausted.

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Waiting list is a year out, and he says he would never stay at a place like this.

This doesn’t pass the smell test with me. I fail to see how a patient’s location AFTER they leave the facility could be protected medical information unless a patient is transferred to another facility. There are provisions within HIPPA to give out a patient’s location within a health facility, I think there’d be a stronger case to give out this information once they leave their care.

See the following link:

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/faq/483/does-hipaa-permit-hospitals-to-inform-visitors-about-a-patients-location/index.html

The missing persons report is a good idea, but I’d also press people in the hospital to transfer you to the HIPPA compliance officer and ask them pointedly to state which part of the HIPPA regulations support withholding this information.

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Ugh… I’m so sorry. It sounds like he is a danger to himself. Maybe a court order for an injectable medication? I don’t have any experience with court-ordered meds, but I’ve heard of it and it’s discussed on this board.

He used to be on monthly injections, but then decided to stop taking them.

Here in Florida, they WILL discharge someone who has no where to go, even to the streets. It all boils down to money: how is the hospital going to get paid? If no one pays, out the patient goes. Getting into a long care facility is almost impossible, they are almost always without any beds. There are many homeless walking the streets here who are SMI.

I made the choice to take my daughter back in each time she was discharged and she asked to come home. A few times she tried to stay out on her own, but that never lasted long.

We built a back doorway into our house straight into her bedroom, and put up a hallway door to sort of make a studio apartment. Put in a mini fridge, and a hotplate. It cut down on the screaming noise, as without meds she talked/screamed most nights to her voices, which echoed through the house interrupting our sleep regularly.

The long acting injection anti-psychotic was the ONLY way the nightmare ended for us. But without her arrest and court order, she would never have agreed to take it willingly.

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This may be a long shot, but perhaps you could contact a Human Rights Officer that’s associated with the facility from which your loved one was released. They should have a fairly good idea of what laws are in place in your area and what you are able to do to find your loved one.
Does your loved one not have any emergency contacts on record? It’s mandatory in some places… assuming they carry a history of medical services (most people do) and also sometimes for insurance purposes (if there’s insurance in play).
If you’re not listed in their record, or if there is legally documented abuse, you may not have access.

You need to google advanced directive’s in your state and print the form. Here in California, I found the form on the State of California Department of Justice, Attorney General, Xavier Becerra’s website: https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/consumers/ProbateCodeAdvancedHealthCareDirectiveForm-fillable.pdf. It lets you name a person to be your health care agent in the event that you can’t make decisions for yourself or if you can’t speak for yourself. This needs to be filled out when your loved one is coherent (or not if feasible - I would definitely try!) and signed by 2 witnesses or you can have it notarized. They have mobile notary units that will meet you at the hospital or wherever your son is. It will help you - find the form in your state and get it signed by your son asap! They used to tell me ‘we cannot confirm or deny if your son is here’ - he was a fresh 18! I freaked out! I called about 10 times a day and found the nice nurses, the ones that I begged to just tell me if he’s ok and safe - and they would! I called and asked for the doctor everyday about 5 times and finally, I got a call back and pleaded to try a new medication. He asked me why my son wasn’t conserved. I screamed you know why, because you have to keep him in the hospital longer to initiate the request and we know that costs money and your not going to do that with this pathetic system. We all know that your going to throw him out before he’s stable, like every doctor before and that YOU know this! He agreed and switched his medication asap and we began the journey of recovery on Clozaril. When I called the nurse the next day and confirmed that the new medication was implemented, he said I was really rooting for you! I’ve learned to be a beast of an advocate and will NEVER stop! My son is worth it all!

:heart:

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Oh, I’m so sorry - this just pisses me off SO much! It’s like taking a cardiac patient, after surgery with blood, stitches and an open wound to a city about 1/2 hour away in a gown and dropping them off on a corner with no food, water or communication. It has definitely happened to my son - he left in worse shape than he came in, numerous times. If something happened to him, you can better believe I would be dialing my lawyer on speed dial! It’s murder to do this over and over again. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. The way we treat the mentally ill is INSANE! Get mad, get fired up and get political - defund the police!!! VOTE!!!

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@Shallcro @Shallcro @Shallcro Sorry, I don’t think I tagged you, hopefully you get this!

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THIS IS AN AMAZING LINK TO LOOK UP VARIOUS HIPAA SCENARIOS! I just shared it with some of my network…Thank you!

@Shallcro Is your son home with you now? I’m so sorry but glad the lady got involved to help him and get in touch with you. This is SO infuriating that he would have been let out on the street with no money and nowhere to go!! At least the police gave you some info. One time we had our son on a Missing Persons Report and when I did my sleuthing and discovered where he was in another state, I tried to get him picked up yet that same day. But when I called his location to do that, they couldn’t find him on a MPR. Apparently the police in that state had located him earlier in the day but since he seemed “fine”, they just took him off the list and did nothing else.

A group home saved our son’s life. Understandably, there are not many housing options. Ours was private pay so it cost a lot of money. I know not everyone can do that. We had been advised not to let our son come home because he was not med-compliant and we knew he would not get better in our home, so this was his option, to go to a homeless shelter or the group home. He chose the latter. There, he had to sign an agreement that he would be med-compliant. He was coherent for a couple days, but his condition worsened, and the group home stood by him. They were SO patient with his condition of Formal Thought Disorder. Because everyone else was taking meds, it was just the normal thing to do. The doctor changed his A/P to Clozapine, and eventually he started to get better. He has been med-compliant and hospital free for 2+ years, is living in his own apartment, working part-time, and is doing great, all considering.

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He is home with us now. Though he is worse off than before he went into hospital. I’m beginning to believe that there is no answer.

I finally got him to sign a medical POA. We got it notorized and witnessed by 2 people.

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There IS hope. The best place I know of to learn from others who have gone or are going through similar situations is a NAMI Family Support Group. Look up NAMI in your state. There are a number of things we CAN do and they are offered in multiple places on this site (amongst all the trauma, hurt, anger, and complaining…which we have a right to share, also.) There are many people and organizations advocating to change our systems in order to help people like our loved ones…and us. Keep fighting! And take care of yourself in the process!