When Your Teen is Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital

November 23, 2014 Christina Halli

It took four hours to admit my 15-year-old son, Bob, to the psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. It had been a long stressful day since Bob told his therapist he almost killed himself the night before. She had made Bob sign a safety contract then released him to me. I tried to keep him busy and distracted, but by late afternoon he could fight no more. Bob asked me to take him to the hospital.

The admission process was painfully slow. Several people asked Bob the same, endless questions. Each time Bob answered them my heart clenched.

Finally, they gave him a gown and took him away.

Admitted your teen to the psychiatric hospital can be scary. This parent of a suicidal teen shares her story of her child in the psychiatric hospital.

My husband, Bill, and I returned to the hospital with some of Bob's belongings. It was 10:00 p.m. and I felt a small sense of relief. My son was alive and safe for now.

"Why are you crying?" I asked Bill. It had been a horrifying and hectic day, but sadness was not what I was feeling.

"I didn't realize how sick he is."

I did. Bob had showed signs of depression in second grade. He tried antidepressant medication in sixth grade, then was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the beginning of ninth grade, I brought Bob to this exact hospital because he became violent, but he was not admitted.

Everything had been leading up to this moment. While my spouse had always been supportive, it took this hospitalization for him to fully understand. Our son has a serious mental illness and it was not going away.

Mental Hospitals Provide Safety and Structure for Patients

The next week was a blur. We were allowed to speak to our son on the phone for 10 minutes, twice a day. We could visit for two hours each evening.

Visiting our son felt like visiting a high security prison:

  • Only immediate family members were allowed.
  • No more than two visitors at a time were permitted.
  • All visitors were searched.
  • No outside food, unless earned was allowed.
  • No candy or treats were permitted.
  • No contraband (straws, staples, drawstrings) were allowed.

Each night we sat with Bob in a large, barren room. He was inattentive and sometimes hostile, mostly towards me. It was excruciating to sit with him.

Hospital Staff Guide Parents of Mentally Ill Children

We met with Dr. Clark mid-week. She blasted information, directions and statistics at us. She explained Bob would be at high risk for suicide after his release from the hospital. Therefore, she ordered eyes-on-supervision 24/7 for 30 days. There would be no electronics and no contact with Bob's girlfriend. She described suicide contagion. She told us 80% of marriages fail after a child's suicide.

As we left the meeting, we saw Bob exercising with a group in the visitation room. He looked like a zombie as he swayed back and forth, arms outstretched, eyes vacant.

My next door neighbor came over to help me make the house safe, a job I couldn't do alone. We started with the obvious harmful objects. Soon I became crazed suggesting every household item could be dangerous. My friend talked me down, but it wasn't easy.

Admitted your teen to the psychiatric hospital can be scary. This parent of a suicidal teen shares her story of her child in the psychiatric hospital.

Another friend came by over the weekend to help redecorate Bob's room. She skillfully displayed Bob's memorabilia on the walls. I arranged the many cards and gifts that arrived.

Bob was released after eight days inpatient. When we got to the house, he saw the balloons on the mailbox. We stopped to take pictures with his little sister. When he saw his room and all his personal items on display, he cried. Though the battle wasn't over, my son was home.

You can find Christina on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

APA Reference
Halli, C. (2014, November 23). When Your Teen is Admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Christina Halli

May, 26 2023 at 10:48 pm

My 15 year old granddaughter has been 51/50'd now 30 times. Each time they keep her for a few days to a few weeks and when she returns home her suicidal ideations start again. Lately she has also had homicidal ideations. Last week I went to pick her up from a behavioral hospital and she told the staff that "if you make me go with her I will mess her up" and she started to run off, only to be grabbed by security. I became scared, as she has hit my daughter and grandson before. I was told by the hospital staff to leave because she wouldn't go with me. I advised them that if she should calm down and change her mind I would return for her. Instead of waiting they called CPS and said that both my daughter and I had abandoned my granddaughter. CPS finally came to the hospital almost a week later and now we have to go to court because of this. However, my granddaughter was in CPS custody for less than 24 hours before she told them that she had suicidal ideations and finally had a behavioral episode which led to another 51/50. We have been dealing with this for almost 3 years now and are getting now help at all. Now that my granddaughter has gone off while in CPS custody what will happen next?

L. N. M.
May, 23 2023 at 9:39 pm

My child (13yo AFAB) is back in inpatient for the third time in 7 months for suicidal ideation, with a plan and intent to commit. They have been on meds seeing counselors, but nothing seems to work. Worst of all, they refuse to see me during visiting hours. I haven't seen them in for days. They only want their dad (my ex-husband) to come, because they know he will bring/buy them things. They've pretty much missed their entire 7th grade year and I just want them to be normal, or whatever that means in teenager. I can't live another year like this and can't hold a job because of this. What went wrong? Why is my child broken? Will they ever live a normal life? Will they ever be happy? Will I ever get a relationship with them?

Sarah Loudin
July, 16 2021 at 5:53 pm

My son was just admitted to ip stay and the whole situation has me confused because he was literally fine all week and when I go home yesterday he had called the suicide prevention line which I am happy he called but because medication etc were in his reach they needed to speak with me. Come home from picking up my other son and my oldest has his door cracked open crying, I thought he was joking at first because before I had left to pick up my youngest we were talking and laughing just fine. I asked are you really crying, he said yes and I asked what’s wrong, anyway long story short the lady on the hotline had pinged his cell phone for the cops/emt to do a welfare check, by the time I was able to get my oldest to calm down to hear what the lady was asking, she said she would cancel the call but to do that she needed my address. I gave her my address and returned the phone to my son so he could speak with her. As he asked if the call was cancelled the policed showed up. He was saying some very mean things, and acted as though I had never talked to him about any of his concerns, he even said well you now have your perfect son… I have no idea where that came from, I have never compared him to his brother in such a way. Anyway he finally goes with the police and emt to the hospital, but refuses to see or speak with me. I called the facility where he is at to see if I could say hi to him and he said he doesn’t want to speak to me. I am literally blindsided with everything, from what he said to the police, to aggressively questioning me whether he should go or not and honestly I think no matter that answer I would have given he would have been infuriated with me. My question is what did I do that he is refusing to speak or see me at all? He told a nurse to tell me he is sorry but doesn’t want to see me. He is telling the staff there that my mom myself and his brother are super supportive of him and is still refusing to speak to me? I am so incredibly lost and confused and feeling thrown under the bus because all of the mean vile things he said to the police sent me into a shock because I was like we talked about this, we did therapy over this, I would check in to make sure it was done and over with, but wow I guess not, he even said he has been like this for months and chose not to tell his therapist. So, Does he not want help? Why is he mad at me like seriously I am not perfect but there were absolutely no indication that he was feeling like this.
I am more hurt by his rejection of me, and the drs say be there keep calling let him you are there and I want to but I also feel like so I want for him to come to me since he is the refusing to have anything to do with me?
Any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

August, 26 2021 at 4:58 pm

Hello there! We have gone through the same situation with our daughter (shes 17). We took her to the ER where she admitted she was suicidal and stayed for less than 24 hours while she was transferred to a behavioral facility. At first she didn't want to see me and I didn't take it personal one bit. Im not sure why, but that was the case with me as well. Shes almost discharged after a month long stay and is on multiple medications (as we attempt to find her right combination). Currently her diagnosis is Bipolar 1 and this is her first episode. How are things coming along?

Edward Zeller
April, 17 2023 at 3:33 pm

He is mad because you gave the woman on the hotline your address and then the police came and took your son away. That is the reason he is furious with you and does not want to talk to you medication could alter his behavior and they likely have him on medication. I went through a lot of tears when I was locked up in a mental hospital when I was a teenager it was way out in the country no towns or cities in sight and some doctors in group therapy with us the patients would say to one of the patients ''I THOUGHT YOU NEEDED MEDICATION AND THEREFORE I PUT YOU ON MEDICATION'' And if the patient refused the medication the nurses would hold down the patient and give them the medication by a needle. And some patients were violent and were locked up in a room with a door handle on the outside, but no door handle on the inside after spending 6 months in the mental hospital I was released, but there are no good memories of that place and in the year 2002 the hospital had closed forever only the bad memories remain.

February, 4 2021 at 2:10 am

My 16 yr old is currently inpatient and reading your story was like reading my own. The only difference is I can't visit my son due to covid.

Kristina Shaner
October, 18 2020 at 3:16 am

I am laying here in complete tears. My 13yr old was admitted to inpatient Thursday night. He was having suicide thoughts and is now hearing voices that are telling him to hurt himself. It is now Saturday night. I can only talk to him for 10 minutes twice a day. They are not allowing visits due to covid. I feel so completely lost. I keep doubting and questioning did I do everything I could before I had to take him for additional help.

October, 20 2020 at 8:14 am

Hi, Kristina,
Thank you so much for reaching out. I'm really sorry you're going through this.
I have a feeling you did everything you could plus some, and I think admitting your son to the hospital was the wisest, most selfless decision you could've made. Your boy is exactly where he needs to be right now. As long as he's there, he's safe. He's with doctors who are experts in mental health, getting the coaching and medical attention that will enable him to be healthy again.
On this journey, please don't forget to take care of yourself. You matter, too, especially to your child.
Kindest wishes,
Sarah Sharp

M. Fletcher
October, 22 2020 at 3:05 pm

Kristina, I was searching the internet for blogs on how putting a teen in a mental health facility was the best choice. I found this one and then scrolled down to read the comments wanting to provide hope for someone else. My 15 yr old daughter came to me a month ago asking to be taken somewhere because she was hearing voices and seeing things. And she was dealing with suicide ideation. She was inpatient for 7 days and while going through it, I felt like I was the worst mother for letting her be in that situation. I also could only do phone calls because of covid. We got one phone call a day. Day 2-5 she kept asking to come home. It broke my heart, made me feel guilty, and made me want to rush to her to rescue her. But my friends that help children with mental health issues and a friend that had been through a similar situation with her child reassured me that my daughter was in the right place.
She was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with Psychosis and in the short time since be inpatient, we have seen significant improvements. She is on medication that is helping and getting therapy and other resources provided to help her gain skills to cope.
While I wish she never had to go through being inpatient, I truly believe it was exactly what she needed at the time. I believe that for you, too. I think those of us that sit and worry and question if we did all we could, are usually the ones that have in fact done all we can do.
Praying for your son and for you.

Mrs. Ray
October, 24 2020 at 2:13 am

My son was 2 months before his 18th birthday when he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time. It was the scariest most painful thing I had ever experienced. He was there for 3 days. And I cried. I screamed. I bargained. I begged. But he was safe. Those three days he was there, I finally was able to get rest. I didnt have to worry about him wandering the streets, someone hurting him. Once I was able to get rest, I researched his diagnosis, Schizophrenia. It is the cruelest of diseases. He went on and off of his medication for the next 8 months, and was subsequently hospitalized 2 more times. That was 6 years ago. Today, he is 24 years old. He now takes monthly injections instead of having to take a pill daily, which he said only made him feel worse, and reminded him daily of his illness. And he is doing so well. I have my son back. Of course, he needs care, and like all of us, has good and bad days. But he is well. And I want you to know it will get better. It know its hard to believe as you are in the hardest part right now. My best advice is patience, kindness, understanding. And dont be afraid to ask questions, about how they are feeling. Laugh together. Hug . And say you love them every day. And some days, you wont feel like you do. You will feel angry and cheated and resentful. But that is you being a human. And remember to be yourself.

October, 21 2022 at 9:45 pm

My son also was diagnosed at 18, had 3 rough years and takes an invega injection times released once every 3 month he is now 31 and has had a serious set back, my heart is bleeding💔💔💔💔

Clarice A.
June, 7 2021 at 8:28 am

Our daughter is 16 and also in a mental hospital.It all started just before age 12 when she started puberty and started bedwetting shortly after because of the puberty.She couldnt wear goodnites or other disposable products because they gave her severe rashes,so she wore cloth diapers and plastic pants to bed every night and the rashes stopped. Her bedwetting stopped at around 14 and a half,but she was so used to wearing the diapers and plastic pants she wanted to keep on wearing them! So we let her continue on for a while more wearing them,figuring she would give them up.Instead,she became more and more infant like and started using pacifiers,drinking from baby bottles,etc and she bought them with her allowance! We took the diapers and plastic pants and pacifiers and bottles away from her,but she threw a huge fit and told us she wanted them back!All thru the rest of 14 and thru 15,she was a 'baby' and it got to the point wear she couldnt do her school work,chores,etc.So just after she turned 16,we committed her to the hospital and now she is making progress getting over her 'baby'addiction!

March, 10 2021 at 10:34 pm

I am lost. My 14 year old is in now she took a metal clip from a mask and cut her wrist tonight. I don’t know what to do or what to say or how to help. I feel like a worthless dad. I wish I could take all of her pain and carry it myself. I am so sad I don’t know what to do with myself. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I need help but I don’t know where to go. I do not wish this on anyone.

Heather Perez
October, 22 2019 at 7:04 pm

I am sitting in the ER with my son 18 right now scared out of mind for him.... I hope I am doing the right thing

September, 8 2019 at 5:13 am

Hi my names nikita I’ve been feeling really suicidal these past few weeks after everything that has happened I just don’t want to be here anymore I tell my mum and dad and they don’t listen I don’t know what else to do is it gonna take me to actually kill myself to get help? Because I can’t do this anymore

September, 9 2019 at 10:25 am

Hi Nikita,
I'm so sorry you're feeling that way. Sometimes it's true that parents don't act in the best way when one of their kids reaches out for help. That's unfortunate but it's not the end. What matters is that you keep telling adults until someone gets you the help you need.
You can call a helpline, see a doctor or talk to your school counselor.
See our information on hotlines and resources here:…
Also, find out more about handling suicidal thoughts and urges here:…
Please reach out and keep reaching out until an adult listens to you and gets you the help you need. You can do this. Your life is worth it.
- Natasha Tracy

July, 4 2019 at 10:22 pm

Um, so I don't really know why I'm here. I've been through a lot, but so has everyone else. There's nothing significant about my struggles whatsoever but here I am. This isn't the first time I've had suicidal feelings and I'm assuming it won't be the last. I'm 15 now but I've lost most of my childhood and had to grow up way to fast and I realize that now. I've cut myself before, in 3 separate "durations" I guess. I've "attempted" suicide twice. I knew it wasn't likely that I would die, but I still did it. I just quit my newest therapist. I had her for a year but nothing she did seemed to make a difference. She started to seem more of a family friend judging me than someone helping. Yeah, I don't know how I got here. I made a list. I guess I tend to do that when I get like this. I made of list of the pros of if I live. It's short but meaningful. Every single one means something to me but I can't bring myself to feel anything positive towards it. I guess I just don't know what to do anymore.

July, 5 2019 at 8:51 am

Hi O,
I'm sorry you're going through that. I want to know that while "everyone else" may have been through struggles, that doesn't make yours any less real and it also doesn't mean they aren't significant. Comparing yourself to others in that way isn't useful. Your pain is real and deserves to be taken seriously.
What you're describing here is a dangerous situation. You seem quite desperate. I'm sorry your last therapist didn't help but there's one thing I know, you need to reach out, and reach out, and reach out until you find the help you need. Maybe a doctor is a better person for your to see right now,
Hold onto your list and keep asking for help. You can do this. And see our list of hotlines and resources here:…
And remember, you don't have to be suicidal to call a helpline.
- Natasha Tracy
- Breaking Bipolar
- Blog Manager

Halie Davis
September, 20 2018 at 8:51 am

I'm 15 years old and I've been hospitalized once and almost twice for suicide. Once was I tried to overdose and the second time my mom noticed my cuts on my arm and took me to the ER. I was going to be admitted into the psych ward if I had any suicidal thoughts. But I lied so I could go home, I don't know what to do because I want to die so bad but if I live I won't ever be allowed to hang out with anyone and I will only be allowed to leave my house for school or my families events.
What do I do, I almost killed my self last night.

September, 21 2018 at 10:54 am

I'm so sorry, Halie. These are tough feelings to have to carry. I've been there myself. Please call for help! Call any adult you trust, but if you're not comfortable doing that, please call a crisis line or a help line. Call 911 if you need to. I don't know where you live, so I'll give you a list of numbers here:
You can even text some of those numbers if you're not comfortable talking out loud. I know it's hard, but if you need to go to the hospital, please go. It feels hopeless now, but when we're suicidal, sometimes our brains just can't see the future very well. Our brains wanna see only dark and not the hopeful possibilities. Get help, and tell those people your fears about not being able to hang out with anyone or go to school. Being safe doesn't mean have to mean having no social life. People want to help. They want to make sure you never get to that dark place again, so be as open with them as possible.

June, 22 2018 at 10:43 pm

Hi I’m haylee I’m 14 and I’ve been diagnosed with atipical depression and I’m on meds but I’ve been very suicidal latley And I talk to my friends about how I’ve been felling and one of them said I need to tell my parents that I’m suicidal but I don’t know how to and I’ve been thinking I should go to a psychiatric hospital what should I do about me wanting to go to the hospital

April, 22 2018 at 6:10 pm

Hello, I am a teenager who was admitted to a behavioral hospital 2 times. For depression,anger,homicidal thoughts and such. The hospital I went to [moderated] was not good. It made me more angry where I went to a partial day program at another hospital which helped me so much. But the impatient I went to had 1 hour of school with 3 meals a day but not great instruction and in my opinion I don’t think that it helped me with all the stuff they gave me. There were many fights and such and it was an uncomfortable situations. The beds were worse than the rubber covers on school bus seats with not good blankets, leaving me restless all night with the medicine they gave me that makes me go to sleep. I don’t like hospitals at all

April, 6 2018 at 1:55 am

Hi Susan,
My 13 year old son was admitted to a mental home 2 days ago. He is a very sweet and gentle person. When I visited him yesterday, he was upset because in one of his group therapy, they were tee talking about violence, killing by accident and so on. Things like that makes him very nervous. Also, there were other kids on the hallway crying. It was very depressing being there. I decided to take him there because he was having suicidal thoughts and told me that he was afraid of his own mind. Other than that, he is not violent or anything like that. I really want to revoke my consent to keep him in there because I really feel that facility it's getting him worse. But I don't know what my rights are.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
April, 6 2018 at 6:12 pm

Hi Maggie,
What an uncomfortable position to be in! I'm so sorry for you and your son. I do not know what your rights are but suggest that you may want to check out one of these resources. "211" is a distribution line on your telephone for health and human services. You can call them 24/7 and somebody can provide you with information regarding the services in your area. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) is another good resource for information you may want to seek out. You can find the number for them on the "Resources" page here at the site. A few phone calls might help you educate yourself as to your rights and options. In the meantime, my heart goes out to both you and your son.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 12 2018 at 7:26 am

I've been trying to get my adopted son help he has a slew of issues adha bi polar rad and others he has been addmitted alot over a year now the state says if I admit him again they are taking him from me how the heck is this possible I only want to help him and if I lose my son I lose my world so heart breaking

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 22 2018 at 12:12 pm

That does seem like a strange response from the state, Bobby! I'm not sure where you live, but I would call your mental health ombudsman. That person is a neutral party who will help you advocate for your child's mental health needs. They know how the system works, and they can make sure service providers aren't mistreating or neglecting your son's mental health needs. I'm not sure if you work with an adoption social worker or have other supports in place, too, but I would also talk to them. Legal Aid is free for legal advice, too. If you don't already have a children's mental health case manager, call up your county and see if you can get your son connected. It doesn't seem right to me that a parent would be punished for getting the child the help they need, but I don't know the entire situation or how laws work where you're at. So definitely seek out legal advice, the ombudsman, or service providers like social workers or case managers who can advocate.

Izack James Carrier
April, 1 2018 at 5:44 pm

Our grandson is not getting help, suicidal & he has just lost his Dad in Jan

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 1 2018 at 7:28 pm

I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope that there are crisis teams in your area. If not, there's also the Suicide Hotline. As a worried family member, you can also call it to ask for help on how to manage the situation. Here is Healthy Place's website with piles of numbers and resources you can possibly use:…
As always, you can also call 911 and request assistance if you feel like your grandson is at risk of harming himself or someone else. The police can put him on a transport hold and take him to the hospital for assessment, too. Good luck to you and your family. I hope your grandson finds the help he needs.

March, 22 2018 at 8:33 am

I'd appreciate some help with things to talk about with my 15-year old son during our hour of visitation. I drive 1.5 hours each way to see him and want the visits to be less awkward. Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
March, 22 2018 at 10:56 am

Hi Arlane,
You're right, those awkward silences can be unnerving for both you and your son, but with a little planning, you can get past that. My girls did not want to talk about the facility, their treatment, or being in the hospital. Most kids don't. So find something outside your son's current reality to talk about. What does he like to do? Does he skateboard, play sports, watch video games, enjoy movies? Download a few articles on those things to talk about what's going on in the fields he likes. My girls had also learned a few card games while in the hospital and I had them teach them to me (or you might teach one to him)--we had quite a few laughs while I fumbled through the rules of a new game. We also planned an imaginary family vacation to a destination my child had once told me she wanted to go. I stopped at a motel lobby on my drive to meet my daughter and grabbed hotel fliers, amusement park pages and the like (they're usually free in the lobby) and my daughter tried to see how expensive and outrageous she could make the trip.. (After one hospitalization, my daughter and I actually took a side-trip to "live" one of her desires from that dream vacation--a night in Las Vegas. We were broke, but for $75 we stayed at the Luxor, shared a hamburger dinner and I threw a quarter in the slot machine for her. We had a blast.) My husband was big on dad-jokes. When he would visit he would shamelessly start with one joke after another. My daughter would groan and complain in the beginning, but soon be throwing barbs back until, finally, we were all conversing freely. You know your son and your family dynamics. Use your strong suits to help him open up and dream. After a few awkward starts, I now remember visits as one of the times my girls and I bonded more closely. Good luck to you.

March, 8 2018 at 1:57 pm

17 year old grandson needs help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 8 2018 at 2:01 pm

My friends 17 year old grandson just tried to commit suicide by taking all of his bipolar meds and ended up in the hospital. The hospital wants to admit him to their psyc ward but her insurance wont pay for it. Hospital says shes responsible as she is his guardian. She doesn't have the money. Can you give me some ideas on how she can pay for his inpatient treatment? Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 9 2018 at 12:24 pm

What an awful series of events. It's even worse when the system fails us and insurance won't help out. It might be worth looking into something like Medicaid. When someone is under 18, there are different programs (based on each state) for kids who need insurance. I'd highly recommend calling the county human services office and asking for assistance in the area of children's mental health. They should be able to direct you to the right place. Otherwise, some hospitals also do payment plans or, based on income, may even have grants. Good luck!

Ken Mcfarland
March, 7 2018 at 11:11 pm

Hi my name is Ken recently my son was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with a mental illness in about three weeks ago he had a mental break down and when he has these breakdowns he has a mentality of a puppy and a five-year-old what you don't understand what's going on around him and I'm just like a five-year-old would normally would do so I called 911 everything else cause I was going out-of-control need your coffee cup at me and bust my head open which I didn't care he didn't really hurt me that bad because you could see was confused on what was going on around him and I'm gonna place and everything got here he didn't know what was going on with what they wanted them for anything that he didn't understand what they were saying to Madame and I love you have a five-year-old you don't understand what they want to what they're doing to you sorry was fighting a little bit and refused to go with him so he did it a couple cops and I didn't retaliate off of it of them trying to touch him or anything is it understand what was going on at this point so they took him to the emergency room assessed him then I had him arrested thrown in jail and then I had to go to court and play the 5042 incompetent to stand trial and we agreed with the judge let them go ahead up a 30 day evaluation as it was court ordered by the judge so you can get that evaluation and then in the meantime in there we got the lawyer form and everything else and I was part of everything and I left that though and they press charges saying it was me to press charges if they picked up the charges then they made him sign paperwork saying you're no longer to go to your fathers house you're not in a lot of contact with your dad but I meant to leave a five-year-old he don't even know how to use a phone call the facility to take him to say he's obligated to have visitors and talk to you but he's got to pick up the phone and called me to give me a code so I know the code when I go visit them but if you got mentality of a five-year-old how do you pick up the phone and call somebody I have no contact with him for a test five weeks don't even know what they're doing to them and as a parent it's really harmful help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
March, 8 2018 at 8:43 pm

Dear Ken,
I'm so sorry to hear about all the troubles you're having with your son. This has got to be so difficult for you. While it has to be agony to be separated from him, at least you know that he is being evaluated and is safe right now. Can you contact the lawyer who gave you the paperwork and find out what you next step is? You may also want to call NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) in your area and see if they can't direct you to the support you need. You can find the contact information for NAMI on this website in the "Resource" section of the website. NAMI may have answers for you about how to best help your son now or groups that can provide you someone to talk to so that you don't have to go through this by yourself. In the meantime, I'm sending my best thoughts to you and your son that they will set up a plan to help him.

February, 25 2018 at 10:39 pm

This is so helpful hearing diffrent family. Im a mom and i fill like i havent slept . My sons like a rollercoaster and im on it. Doctors psychiatrist psychologist im always bisy counselor. I have 2 other boys and i fill like super mom. Im trying and wont give up trying to help my son.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
February, 26 2018 at 6:53 pm

You sound like a caring and determined mom, Vanessa. I wish you the best in your journey with your son and am glad that you find so helpful.

February, 24 2018 at 11:55 am

PLEASE HELP ME, I was at work when i got a call from my wife statin the cops were are the door because my 13 year old try to comite suicide.
I was so confused what did i miss how could this happen no way, everyone including my wife were talking suicide. mean wile im talking to my daughter and listening trying to understand what happened by the time i realised it was attention and she couldnt be more clearly as why she felt that way. the last 14 months have been real though I have had 3 surgeries 1 hospitalized for a moth almost died and because we are new to Texas we had no were or noone we could drop or daughter of with so she witnnessed all of it. but ever since I have been in n out of the hospital, My oldest boy left to the ARMY and My oldesrt Daughter to school in new york. its clearly why she felt lonely. by the time I was 100% sure she wasnt in dangare It was to late she is in the mental facility and I can get her out.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
March, 3 2018 at 2:00 pm

I'm so sorry to hear about all your troubles, Robert Salas. I'm sure by now your daughter has been released from care as they usually only hold people for 72 hours. And, while being hospitalized is very traumatic for both your daughter and your whole family, it is good that her cry for help has been addressed. You may well be right that she is just crying out for attention, but just in case she is not, it's good that the medical profession is looking at her. You would hate for her to make another attempt. Have your contacted your local NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) group for information or support? This organization offers wonderful services for your daughter and you. You can find the number on the Resource page of the website. I wish you and your daughter healing.

January, 25 2018 at 11:18 pm

My son was involuntarily committed on Tuesday when his grief, depression (chronic) and suicidial idealization hit a peak 7 days after the suicide of his close friend.. He made a comment to friend at school that no one would even noticed if he committed suicide and the next thing we new he was in 5150'ed. When he was initially held and committed he was beside himself and begging to go home. It took them 17 hours to find him a bed at an adolcent facility but things where sure different at the children's center.. When I drove out -nearly a 2 hour drive from my home- to the hospital to visit him the next day it was so bizarre it was like a scene from a movie. He said he didn't want to see me-i was embarrassing him in front of his new friends-the other patients. He said, and I nearly fell over when I heard this, that he really liked it there and wanted to stay beyond the 72 hour hold. He mentioned that most people got to stay longer and he could even do another 14 days. What the hell was going on here. I made it clear that the hospital was a short term thing to stablize people and not a place to stay. I told him about all the important things that he would miss, and other things that wouldn't be available to him as a person with a long term hospitalization -for instance it would be reccomend that he not be allowed to drive or use electronics when he got out for a minimum of 45 days and he would miss so much school work he would be likely to fail his classes and spend his whole summer in summer school.. I felt like I was bribing him to get better and to want to leave the hospital. He finally agreed that he probably shouldn't keep trying to stay there. My big fear now is that since he likes going to the hospital so is he just going to try and get send back every time life gets tough? What do I do with this? I have never heard of kids liking being institutionalized.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Susan Traugh
January, 26 2018 at 10:33 am

Hi Jessica,
I'm so sorry to hear your distress and bewilderment, but am glad that you found some help for your son. My daughter suffers from acute bipolar disorder. Her mood swings would go from manias where she stole money and cars and did all manner of destruction to depressive/suicidal episodes that would land her in the hospital. Like you, my main goal was to get my child home, safe with me, and away from those "awful" hospitals. Yet, every time we turned around, she was back in crisis. One day I threatened her, saying that if she didn't get it together, the next step would be a residential facility for a year. She turned and looked at me and said, "But, Mom, don't you get it? That's exactly where I belong. Do you have any idea how scary it is in my brain?" We put her in and it was the best/worst decision I've ever made. It broke my heart and shook my foundation about what kind of mother I was that I couldn't raise my own kid. But, it changed my daughter's life. She later said that she knows she would be dead without residential. Kids know. They often understand first how very ill they are. Your son may like the fact that he feels safe, can talk about his problems with professionals, and is surrounded by other people who are in the same boat. All the things my daughter gave up to be institutionalized are small potatoes compared to the tools she acquired to live a productive life, the insight we got into the meds/lifestyle she needed, and the resolve she built to come out and manage her mental illness. She's now finished up a certificate program in college, has a career, is engaged to a stable man and is doing so well. Your son may not need to be hospitalized again. But, he might. You may want to explore with him, in therapy, why he likes the hospital and determine if he's crying out for more help or simply trying to avoid responsibility. NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) is a national group that offers lots of free education and support groups for families. You might want to contact them to see what services are in your area. (Look at the "Resources" page on this site for NAMI's contact information and more sources of help.) In the meantime, I wish you well on your journey with your son.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 27 2018 at 4:09 pm

Well he was supposed to be released today-everyone said he was well enough to go home. He had been well in the hospital. But then he refused to go home. Railed on and on about how horrible I am and how he doesn't want to live with me. I know it bologna - when he gets worked up he says all kinds of things that aren't true and don't even make logical sense so I'm used to it. The doctor and social worker and I all realized that he seemed to think that it was fun in the hosipital away from school and stress and responsibilities like a vacation. Deep down he is terrified of going back to school and terrified of going to the partial hospitalization program that he going to be attending. He feels good where he is and he doesn't want anything to change so he was going to say or do anything to get his way to stay right where he was. Ugh. They told me that it's not that uncommon so I am writing so anyone who is going through a similar situation can know that you are not alone. We had to change his circumstances so that he didn't enjoy himself quite so much so that he will want to leave, he needs to feel discomfort to prompt him to want to leave. By the time I left and he knew his circumstances and level of comfort and privileges had changed he was already begging to go home. Hopefully I will be taking him home tomorrow.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 29 2018 at 7:53 am

Just an update for anyone who is wondering-He told his psychiatrist that he just feels safe there and he wants to be somewhere that the other kids dont bully him. He said he felt better but still felt so afraid to go back to school and too afraid of the unknown. What would his partial hospitalization school be like, what if all the people there were mean. What about when he had to go to his real school, he felt certain everyone was going to bully him. He just likes being somewhere that was calm, controlled, full of nice kids. He was willing to go home-no more being remanded to his room with no privileges. I can kind of see how it would be nice, after feeling so out of control and so low, to be somewhere so in control where everyone was really nice and supportive all the time. But he didn't need to be hospitalized-he wasn't a threat and he wasn't out of control. He needs to do the hard work to get better and move on from the hospital. Hopefully he will.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Bryan Lewis
February, 9 2018 at 12:45 pm

[moderated] you parents think you know everything but y'all really don't understand what goes in the heads of your children so literally stop

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 25 2018 at 10:19 pm

What hospital was he admitted to im teying to find a place for my son

Sarah frederick
January, 18 2018 at 11:04 pm

Hello i am a single mother of 11 year old twin girls one has adhd and other behavioural issues the other has an eatting disorder and tried 2 times to commit suicide aslo has odd as a result i cant leave them home after scholl while i work nor can i get childcare . i have just lost my job soon my housing does anyone know of any programs that can help me financially to keep housing and live while i am home suppourting my kids through this i live in california and cant go on the streeets with them we r in need of immidiate help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 19 2018 at 3:05 am

That’s a lot to go through, Sarah. I’m sorry to hear that. It may help to call your local county human services department. They may be able to help you with the financial, housing, and basic resources you could use at this time. Also try United Way 211 (
Meanwhile, if you need your own mental health support through this, or you’re concerned one of your children may try again to end her life, here are some hotline resources, too:…

October, 25 2017 at 9:06 am

Dear RSmith,
I am so sorry that you are in such pain. You ask the $64,000 question: how do we know? Isn't that it? How do we know if we're doing the right thing? How do we know if this is the right treatment? You can second guess yourself until you go crazy.
I think the answer is to trust ourselves. To trust that gut feeling. And, to trust the support system that we build around our children. That's what you're doing right now. Then the good news is that you don't have to answer those questions alone.
Before they admit your daughter, they will do an intake consultation. Tell them your fears. My girls have each been admitted to psychiatric hospitals a number of times. (And when that happens, you know your child is safe and getting the help she needs.) And, sometimes, they haven't. One time I was unsure if my daughter was so ill that she needed to be admitted, but her suicidal thoughts made me error on the side of caution. Yet, when we got to the hospital, she was better. We all talked about how best to treat her and decided not to admit her. Instead, we had her sign a safety contract (or, a written promise that she would not harm herself and what help she would take if she felt like it.) We made an appointment with her psychiatrist for the next day, she called her therapist and we put her into an Intensive Out-Patient program so she could learn coping skills. My point is you don't have to do this all alone. There is a team of professionals who can help you make the decision that feels right.
But, while your daughter is getting the help she needs, who is taking care of you? You need support too, Mama. Whether it is through friends, or a therapist, or NAMI meetings (see the Resources section on for references) or hotlines, make sure you take care of yourself. You're right. You are the glue. And, clearly, every member of your family needs you.
Take care of yourself over these next few days, and I send my best wishes to you and all your family that things will get better.

Rocio colon
December, 16 2017 at 8:01 pm

I am here trying to keep my own head together my baby my youngest child was hospitalized on Monday night .
Part of me wants her home with me so I can protect her against the world .
Part of feels afraid that she will try to harm her self again .
I don't really have support that we need my other daughter's have their own lives and my fiance well he is judgemental.
I am lost I hate to see her in that place where is cold and her face expressions worry me .

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