Friends, never in a million years could I have imagined that it would be such an up hill battle to get help for our son. We live in a time rich in psychological awareness, mental health availability, and societal pressure to be perfect! I could not have imagined, however, that we have entered an age where you must meet high standards of criteria to be accepted into a mental health program.
We heard back from the clinic; they have respectfully denied our son's entrance into their ten week intensive program at this time. They have two concerns. One: his pending court date. They don't want him to start the program if he is unable to finish it.
WHAT? While he has a court hearing on Monday (at 8:30 a.m), this is the first of several court hearings to determine the outcome of his earlier felony offense. In my humble opinion, it would seem to me there is a relevant urgency to keep this young man on the right course as he navigates his way through the legal system--offering to make changes in his life to show the Judge that he understands the need for a u-turn! This stall.....in treatment.... does nothing to help him stay the course. The downside of this is so detrimental that I am angered to think that a mental health facility is more concerned about their statistics of outcome than the lives of their clients.
Two: They had some concerns about his level of commitment. Stunning! I was in the room with him for this intake meeting, just as I was with my college bound daughter when she was searching for just the right university to attend. I fear my presence suggested that this treatment inquiry was primarily parent driven. Have I said on this blog before how difficult it is to be the parent of an adult child who is struggling? Even when you want to have a supportive presence you find that you have hampered the process. My son was engaged during the intake meeting and answered each question with honesty and clarity. I did not interrupt, I simply, quietly waited for the therapist to talk with me about family history and observance. When the intake meeting came to a close and she had not asked me any questions, I offered a few informational pieces to help clarify our excitement and urgency for our son to be able to have the opportunity to enter this program.
I have been playing voice-mail tag with the therapist to try to get some resolution to this matter. I would like her to speak with our son's attorney to ease their concerns about his availability to finish the program. I would like to tell her that I fear my urgency and presence at the intake meeting may have overshadowed my son's willingness to commit to this program. I have left those words on her voice mail but would like to speak to her directly. Our son has also called her to assure her of his willingness and ability to start and finish this program.
There is so much more I could say--but I will not. I have a new appreciation for the families of every homeless person I see; for the families of every young student who loses the battle and causes some horrific crisis on campus; for the thousands of families who have banged their heads and their hearts against the brick wall......of process. It is not as easy as the critics suggest, "Why didn't their family do something?" "How could they have sat by and watched the unraveling of their child's life?" "Where was the family?" It is being said of Britney Spear's family, of Linday Lohen's family, of every parent of every young adult who is out of control.
The fact that our young adults are out of control........is the very reason they need the help.
...........to be continued....................................................