A friend in my mental health blogs group shared this story about a son who shot his father today and then died by suicide. It happens far too often, and it makes me so sad. But this particular story also makes me very angry.
Why? Well, the son was evaluated at a hospital just LAST NIGHT for a mental health crisis and was
turned away because a bed was not available! If this young man had a heart attack I would bet on my life that he would have gotten treatment, he would NOT have been turned away. No chance.
But with mental health it’s different. Mental healthcare does not have the same standard. Forget the stigma and fear many people have about seeking help. That of course is a barrier to treatment. But what about those who seek help for family members or themselves. Are they getting proper treatment?!
In too many cases, the answer is no. I’ve heard story after story of families struggling to get help for a loved one. To get doctors and hospitals to take them seriously. Who fear for their loved one, and themselves because they can’t get their family member into treatment. Who struggle with the system to even find a place to go.
This must change.
Mental health crises, such as the one I’m sure this young man was going through, are REAL medical emergencies and truly should be treated as such.
I don’t know the answers. I just know it makes me rage to think of this poor father now struggling for his life and his son dead, and it could have been avoided so easily if someone had just found him a damn bed.
THIS is why I think suicide prevention is possible. If we, as a society, can figure out how to better treat those with mental illness, we can save them.
Have you or your family struggled with finding crisis healthcare. What are your thoughts?