Hi everyone - I only have a minute but needed to get this out there ASAP. Some of you may remember when I blogged about this poor girl about a month ago. Meeting her really shook me up that night, some people just affect me more than others and I'm never sure why. But now I think I know why God laid this girl so heavily on my heart and mind that night.
I made the recommendation that she be hospitalized. I didn't think Detention was a place for a girl who obviously had so much pain eating her away inside. Unfortunately, resources in her area are incredibly scarce - the closest psychiatric hospital is an hour away. To make matters worse, ambulances can refuse to transport someone if it is not a medical crisis. And so they almost always refuse - especially if the call comes after about 4pm. I called every ambulance company in the area where she was and the town of the hospital I was sending her to - they all gave me the same answer. "Sorry. We can't send someone out that far away tonight. Call back in the morning."
So, I left that night, after making a safety plan with the Detention staff, and passed off the information to the morning crisis worker to continue looking for an ambulance to take her to the hospital. Unknown to me, when she went out and talked to her, the follow up worker decided that she didn't need to be hospitalized.
Today I was informed that I need to be at a meeting with all the "higher ups" in my agency to talk about this girl. She took an overdose and is lying in a coma - she is not expected to recover. I couldn't believe it and felt shaken to the core.
I don't think the follow up worker was negligent. I am sure the girl was presenting much better after another 12 of waiting. She'd had ample time to second guess, become more anxious, build up those walls, and decide she didn't need any help anymore. This is not uncommon in kids with her kind of traumatic history. I do, however, have a big problem with the fact that the resources just were not there for this girl. There is NO inpatient psychiatric unit near her. She doesn't live in a small rural area! She lives in the one of the largest cities in our state! And the fact that ambulances are allowed to refuse to pick her up - because psychiatric emergencies are not "real" emergencies?! This is crap folks, absolute crap.
And now this young girl might die. Please, lift her up in your prayers. And please, please pray that we start making progress on changing some of these laws that allow those with mental health issues to be treated like second class citizens. Pray for all the barriers that prevent people from accessing quality mental health treatment be demolished. And lastly, say a little prayer for me please - this has really hit me hard today.