Massachusetts mother highlights ’emergency boarding’ problem, need for psychiatric beds

The cry for help was impossible for a Massachusetts mother to ignore. “Our son had come to us and said, ‘I’m not doing well. I need help. I feel like I’m going to hurt someone or myself,'” she said. Christine, who asked 5 Investigates not to use her last name to protect her teenage son’s identity, took her teenage son to the emergency room at a local hospital. “He was in that emergency room for six days without any movement,” she said. the hospital told them there was no psychiatric bed available anywhere in the state and sent their son home. “We said to them, ‘No, you can’t fire our son. He’s not safe. He has had no treatment. not OK,” she said. “And 10 days later it exploded, and the second time it was so much worse. And we had police involvement and trauma,” she said. The cycle continued with their son isolated back in a room in another emergency room. “Terrible, terrible for our son. No air, no windows. You can go to the bathroom and back to your room. No walks. Can’t break your door,” she said. “This is inhumane.” “So there he is, day after day after day after day, we wait and wait. Nineteen days before we finally get a bed in an adult ward,” she said. The problem is known as emergency rooms, where people in hospital emergency rooms wait for psychiatric beds. Figures from the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association show that the is an ongoing problem. At the end of March, there were 247 children waiting in the emergency room. That number has fallen to 99 in the past week. A child therapist, who agreed to talk to 5 Investigates if we kept her identity hidden, said she “Seeing a complete disaster and lack of resources endangering children and families every day.” “People are desperate,” said Senator Cindy Friedman, who not only chairs the Joint Committee on Health Financing but also has a child with a serious mental illness. “What is the solution to solve this problem?” Mike Beaudet of 5 studies asked Friedman, “We still need to start treating mental illness exactly like we treat other medical conditions,” replied the Arlington Democrat. Beacon Hill has already given $10 million for adolescent beds and $120 million for programs to repay, recruit and retain mental health professionals. The Senate passed the ABC Act 2.0 for mental health, aimed at addressing barriers to care. The law is now in the House of Representatives. It would create an online portal to help find open beds and require all hospital emergency departments to have an on-site behavioral therapist to evaluate and stabilize people admitted to the emergency room with mental health issues. Nearly $200 million believed to help address the mental health crisis by establishing a Behavioral Health Trust Fund is in legislative limbo. The legislature approved it, but the governor vetoed it last month, saying he supports the fund and its goals, but believes the way the legislature has set it up creates a bureaucratic process that will not resolve the crisis soon enough. approach.” (mental health care) is complicated and expensive, and there is no easy way,” Friedman said. “There’s no pill you give anyone and, ‘Okay, you’re all better.'” Christine hopes people will pay attention and push their elected officials to prioritize adding resources to help children like her son who are suffering. “If this was if there was another illness, we’d get help. But this is a mental illness,” she said.

The cry for help was impossible for a Massachusetts mother to ignore.

“Our son had come up to us and said, ‘I’m not okay. I need help. I feel like I’m going to hurt someone or myself,'” she said.

Christine, who asked 5 Investigates not to use her last name to protect her teenage son’s identity, took her teenage son to the emergency room at a local hospital.

“He was in that ER for six days without any movement,” she said.

Then the hospital told them there was no psychiatric bed available anywhere in the state and sent their son home.

“We said to them, ‘No, you can’t fire our son. He’s not safe. He hasn’t had any treatment. He’s not okay,'” she said.

“And 10 days later it exploded, and it was so much worse the second time. And we had police involvement and trauma,” she said.

The cycle continued with their son isolated back in a room in a different emergency room.

“Awful, terrible for our son. No air, no windows. You can go to the bathroom and back to your room. No walks. I can’t break your door,” she said. “This is inhumane.”

“So there he is, day after day after day after day, we wait and we wait. 19 days, until we finally get a bed in an adult ward,” she said.

WCVB

Christine, the mother of a teen with a mental illness, has lived through the mental health crisis in Massachusetts.

The problem is known as emergency boarding, where people wait in hospital emergency rooms on psychiatric beds. Figures from the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association show it’s an ongoing problem.

At the end of March, 247 children were waiting for the emergency room. That number has fallen to 99 in the past week.

A child therapist, who agreed to talk to 5 Investigates if we kept her identity hidden, said she sees “a complete disaster and lack of resources that put children and families at risk every day.”

“People are desperate,” said Senator Cindy Friedman, who not only chairs the Joint Committee on Health Financing but also has a child with a serious mental illness.

“What is the solution to solve this problem?” 5 Mike Beaudet examines Friedman.

“We still have to start treating mental illness exactly like we treat other medical conditions,” replied the Arlington Democrat.

shortage of psychiatric beds for adolescents helps create mental health x20;crisis in massachusetts.

WCVB

State Senator Cindy Friedman chairs the Health Financing Committee and has a child with severe mental illness.

Beacon Hill has already given $10 million for adolescent beds and $120 million for loan repayment programs to recruit and retain mental health professionals.

The Senate passed the ABC Act 2.0 on mental health, aimed at removing barriers to care. The act is now in the House of Representatives.

It would create an online portal to help find open beds and would require all hospital ERs to have an on-site behavioral therapist to evaluate and stabilize EDs with mental health issues.

Nearly $200 million, which should help address the mental health crisis by creating a Behavioral Health Trust Fund, is in legislative limbo. The legislature approved it, but the governor vetoed it last month, saying he supports the fund and its goals, but believes the way the legislature has set it up creates a bureaucratic process that won’t tackle the crisis soon enough .

“[Mental health care]is complicated and expensive, and there’s no easy way,” Friedman said. “There’s no pill you give anyone and, ‘Okay, you’re all better.'”

Christine hopes people will pay attention and urge their elected officials to prioritize adding resources to help children like her son who are suffering.

“If this was another illness, we’d get help. But this is a mental illness,” she said.

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