November 3, 2021 at 2:57 pm #7642Lisa SandersParticipant
In 2019 my son was told he had to leave his Lifewell ACT team (which I loved). The clinical coordinator Breck Vanderhoof had been working with my son for years and was amazing with both him and I. Her whole team was/is great. Everything fell apart once we were taken off the team. I figured I would find a new clinic closer to where he was living. I chose the Terros clinic which turned into one disaster after another. It began in July 2019, where he was assigned a 23.9 apartment with a roomate after being asked to leave a 16 hour apartment. I thought since there was some supervision maybe he could hack it. Nope! One month later he was amended and put in Haven Psych hospital for being unsafe and unable to take them himself. He put cigarette holes in furniture and carpet and was able to get drugs from a nearby park. From Haven, they decided to bring him to CASS. Why would someone thnk he could survive there, if he couldn’t even take care of himself in an apartment with supervision? Oh and what about meds, was he supposed to carry them with him and remember to take them?? After losing all his personal belongings, having no meds and inceased symptoms, he then self admitted (with my encouragement) to Banner Behavioral. Banner was able to get him into Corazon in Phoenix. I had to transport him there and no case manager showed up, so they would not admit him. What would any parent do, I took him to my home for the night. He would not go to Corazan after that and instead went to an awful and innapropriate TLC program in Mesa for two nights until he left that (I would have also). This was about the time I found ACMI. My son was back in the streets again. He didn’t actually sleep or go to CASS because if you didnt line up early enough you couldn’t get a bed anyway. He was roaming the streets of Phoenix, filthy, hungry, tired and psychotic. In November I finally got Terros to amend him again. I knew where he was so I made a plan to meet him with the police. He was brought to St. Lukes. This was the most horrible place ever! Limited food, nothing to do, untrained staff, minimal psychiatric visits, if any. While in there, I begged and got my Lifewell ACT team back. When released from ST. Lukes, he was taken by the ACT team to ACT housing. Unfortnately, there was no magic potion that suddenly allowed him to take care of himself and drugs were readily available in the neighborhood. Thankfully, the psychiatrist at the time and the ACT team went to visit him and constantly check on him. Not much to check on though, all his belongings were gone, even his bed. He had no insight so it didn’t bother him. From here we went to Maryville Valleywise. Finally…. his ACT team knew that we had tried everything and gone through all the resources possible and he was discharded directly to a 24 hour group home. This was what he needed all along. Thankfully I am his guardian so was able to have him stay at Valleywise until his move (this was also in the middle of COVID). Although my son is doing so much better where he is, he still hears voices, needs to develop ADL skills, has high anxiety BUT…… he was able to get a job at the Dollar Tree working once a week. He would have never been able to do this before. I hate to be a pessimist, but when he is asked to move from this group home, I know the downhill cycle will start all over again. I continue to lose sleep over this fear.November 5, 2021 at 12:05 pm #7646acmigold15Keymaster
Lisa, I am so sorry to hear about the horrific ordeal your son and you went through after changing providers. I am not sure that release to a homeless shelter is ever warranted for someone with serious mental illness. It is very disturbing to see how badly this vulnerable population is treated. Without heroic support from family or friends, these vulnerable people can end up in very dangerous, harmful situations. Did you file grievances against the number of entities involved? As a guardian, I am glad that you were able to advocate and get him the treatment and housing he is entitled to receive.
Lastly, I am glad he is back with his Lifewell ACT team and in supervised housing.
ACMIDecember 1, 2022 at 10:29 am #8707Karin CatherParticipant
Echo the sentiments that mentally ill loved ones do not belong in homeless shelters. My son was so terrified he refused to get out of the car and also doesn’t understand that you have to wait in line and get there early enough. Even with COPA, case managers leave constantly. He’s on an injectable but a unit psychiatrist recommended a medication change, which my son refused. That isn’t enough to amend him. I’m so terribly sorry you are going through this.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Karin Cather.
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