Thursday, February 6, 2014

"I want you to answer one question," she says. "If he is homeless and without the ability to provide food, clothing or shelter, is that not being gravely disabled?" When he tells her it is not, she slumps back, defeated. "Okay, that's all I need," she answers.

Photos of Matt HoffWhen a Mentally Ill Child Becomes a Mentally Ill Adult

It's a Catch-22 that strikes many family members of patients—mostly young males—who are severely mentally ill and refuse to seek care. They've learned that as difficult it is to provide safety for a mentally ill child, it is exceedingly more difficult when that child becomes a mentally ill adult. Laws that previously gave parents control over their child's treatment disappear and are replaced by new laws that protect the individual's freedom and privacy. Barred from their child's medical decisions, parents find themselves in an abyss of helplessness and guilt.

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