Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Letter

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Letter

Article excerpt

Dear Mr. Edwards,

In response to your May editorial "Frustration," I want to share how our community mental health center would have responded if your friend and "George" lived in our area. Our mental health center would have attempted to resolve the situation with George differently than from what you experienced:

* Two professionals (teamed for safety reasons) from our Crisis Team would have met your friend at his apartment the day you called to get firsthand information.

* The Crisis Team staff then would have made every attempt to get George to answer the door and engage him in a conversation to assess his mental status.

* If needed and deemed safe to offer services, our Crisis Team members would visit George over the next several days.

* Our staff would collaborate and coordinate a response with the local police department, which we have trained on recognizing signs of mental illness (the police can ensure the team's safety and assist if needed).

* The Crisis Team could assess for and arrange a psychiatric hospital admission.

* The Crisis Team would consult with the local district attorney's office to determine whether an involuntary admission to a hospital might be considered.

* If necessary, the Crisis Team members would provide professional testimony in court for involuntary hospital admission.

In the process, our Crisis Team would have dedicated anywhere from 3 hours (if we simply met with your friend and called the police) to 20 or more hours (if we did all of the above) to this case. …

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