Time Waiting for a Bed: Psychiatric vs. Medical


Recently in my community, a 17 year old foster child was jailed for 3 weeks for a minor offense because there was no one to place her. This is inexcusable.  Article 

The problem boils down to placement.  It is not just for this child. It is also for children who live at home, adults and children who have medicaid or medicare, and those with no insurance.

If someone with a mental illness goes to the ER because they are in crisis due to a mental illness, they can have to wait days before a bed is found.  By days, I mean sometimes it can be a week of the patient having to wait in a hallway with no privacy treated like lower class citizens.

As I learned about this current situation and the steps that it took for this girl to finally get placed in another state because a judge demanded something to be done, I started thinking about it.

Why is that if I were to go to the ER for a reason not associated with mental illness that I most likely be in a bed within a few hours most of the time?

There is a lack of psychiatric beds. There is a limited amount of money spent on educating the public about recognizing signs if someone is suffering from a mental illness, people oftentimes don’t know what the resources are mainly because this is all a topic people don’t want to talk about.

In addition, if people are waiting days to get a bed for a mental illness, not enough money is being spent on taking care of our mentally ill or the money is not being managed correctly.

This all needs to change. Not tomorrow, or two months ago. It needs to start now!  It is our society’s problem. This is not just those with mental illnesses.  If we don’t improve the mental health system, we are going to have more suicides, homicides and mass shootings.

Why not demand from our government that more time, effort, and money be spent on exploring the problem and coming up with solutions?

About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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9 Responses to Time Waiting for a Bed: Psychiatric vs. Medical

  1. AngO says:

    Very interesting. What are our priorities?

  2. otgeekette says:

    It’s awful to think that a patient needing treatment for metal illness is treated in a way that is so injurious to their mental health 😦

    • It is sad, but so true. People just need to keep speaking out until hopefully things will change. Those with mental illnesses did not choose to be born with a chemical imbalance and should not be treated any differently.

  3. This is an alarming and ever increasing reality. Please keep posting the truth. The innocent are being buried alive in this catacomb of sadness called the prison system. My 10 year old son was placed in the worst mental hospital in the state of NC, where he did not belong, due to this same thing. It was a horror to endure and then to get him out…blessings for shedding light!

    • THanks for your encouragement and I am sorry that your son had to go through that. I would suggest writing to Dave Richard since you live in NC. dave.richard@dhhs.nc.gov He is great and will listen to your story. He usually gets back to you within a week. He works for Secretary Wos who is under the Governor.

      • My son has been home now for almost two years; it was an invaluable lesson for him on appreciation. It was tough, but I fought and got him out of the hospital to a more appropriate place. Thank you for your blog and caring!

  4. Laura Zera says:

    I’ve just recently realized the gravity of this problem. In WA state, psychiatric boarding, as its called, has tripled in the last few years, leaving some patients in restraints, stuck in ER hallways, for up to six days. It’s treatment that’s unsuitable even for an animal.

  5. Paul says:

    Hello! I am a 26 year old male and myself as well as a friend of mine are trying to start a group home and we are a little short in the funds department! We are raising funds to open a group home for the mentally ill within our community. We would like to provide homes for people rather than them living their lives in institutions or hospitals. We would like to provide them with the highest quality of life that they can have regardless of what they maybe diagnosed with. My partner and I have a total of 17 years of combined service working with mentally ill youth and adults and are committed to enhancing the lives of the mentally disabled! We are seeking donations from friends, family, and whoever is willing to lend a hand to serve as a startup fund. Any donations received will go to purchase equipment and will also serve as working capital. Funds will also serve as overhead that client organizations require to place an individual with us. Any donations are appreciated and we thank you in advance! If we do not reach our goal, we will still continue our commitment to raising more funds to open this home!

    Your contributions will make it possible for us to:
    1.-Cover cost related to housing
    2.-Purchase supplies for the home such as appliances, furniture, etc.
    3.-Purchase necessary insurance
    4.-Provide 60 days of overhead money required by the placing agencies
    5.-Cover cost of licensing and certifying the home

    Thanks to everybody taking the time to read this. Help change these peoples lives by making a contribution to our campaign!

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