A Youth Gets the Care and Help He Needs

Recently we had one of those really difficult but good days in the shelter. There’s a youth who has been staying with us for about a week and a half and we’ve been noticing that he hasn’t been doing very well.  Before he came to us he had been on the streets for about 3 months.  He’s stayed with us a couple of times before, but never for very long.  We knew he had a history of some mental health concerns so we connected him with our mental health team and he saw one of the psychiatrists.  In the initial appointment, he didn’t say much to the doctor because he didn’t know or trust her, but it was clear that there was some psychosis going on.  This youth was not ready to address his mental health yet and because we don’t really have a relationship with him yet, there wasn’t much we could do to convince him otherwise.  The plan then became to have the youth rest and eat as much as possible in the hopes that he could begin to get well.

Recently we had one of those really difficult but good days in the shelter. There’s a youth who has been staying with us for about a week and a half and we’ve been noticing that he hasn’t been doing very well.  Before he came to us he had been on the streets for about 3 months.  He’s stayed with us a couple of times before, but never for very long.  We knew he had a history of some mental health concerns so we connected him with our mental health team and he saw one of the psychiatrists.  In the initial appointment, he didn’t say much to the doctor because he didn’t know or trust her, but it was clear that there was some psychosis going on.  This youth was not ready to address his mental health yet and because we don’t really have a relationship with him yet, there wasn’t much we could do to convince him otherwise.  The plan then became to have the youth rest and eat as much as possible in the hopes that he could begin to get well.

Unfortunately, after a week of getting plenty of rest and lots of food, he still wasn’t doing very well.  He wasn’t communicating much with staff or co-residents, was spending most of the day in his room in isolation, and was not able to sleep at night.  He met with the psychiatrist again today and she decided that he would need a hospital stay in order to get well.  In order for this to happen, he needed to be arrested under the mental health act.  This is one of the situations that youth workers hate the most, because as much as we know it’s the best thing for the youth, we also know that it’s not what they want.  We called 911 and the police arrived to bring him to the hospital.  It was a difficult day for us in the shelter, but we know that this youth is in the best place for him right now and that he is getting the care and help that he needs.