‘Incredibly frustrating’: Massive medical system collapses under the weight of child and adolescent mental health crises – Boston News, Weather, Sports

BOSTON (WHDH) – Health experts are warning of a new pandemic sweeping the nation: mental health crises in children and adolescents.

With Massachusetts’ medical system collapsing under the pressure and children in crisis situations often going nowhere, local emergency rooms step in to help. Although they are often not equipped.

This spring, two parents protested outside Massachusetts General Hospital when their 17-year-old son was stuck in the emergency room for more than two weeks. The teenager was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and they said he was in crisis.

The parents told 7 Investigates they were keen to give their son the care he needed.

“The general public, if they knew this was happening, I know for sure they would be appalled,” mother Christine said. “We started coming here with signs. After day ten we were at the limit.”

Her son waited 19 days in the emergency room before being transferred to a psychiatric facility. During this time, Mass. General back to boarding school – where psychiatric patients of all ages are safely held and treated in the emergency room until there is a vacancy at a treatment facility.

“It’s the situation, it’s not the hospital,” Christine said.

Boarding has become standard practice in hospitals and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it to a crisis point – especially for children. In just one week last month, more than 200 Massachusetts children who posed a danger to themselves or others did not have access to immediate mental health care.

“Suicide has become the second leading cause of death in children and adolescents,” said Dr. Patricia Ibeziako, Associate Chief of Clinical Services at Boston Children’s Hospital. “And so, with this surge, there has been an increased demand for services, and with those services not being available, boarding affects children with mental health crises more than adults.”

Ibeziako said the pandemic has made it even more difficult for children to seek mental health treatment as social distancing is required and many health resources are being diverted to fight the virus.

Mental health providers also point to a lack of vacancies in treatment programs and staffing shortages as insurance companies refuse to reimburse facilities in advance.

“As healthcare providers, we go into the field to help people care for people, and it’s incredibly frustrating when you see patients don’t have access to the care they need,” said Dr. Ibeziako.

A spokesman for Massachusetts General Hospital told 7 Investigates that the hospital has taken steps to try to improve the situation. “A tremendous investment in behavioral healthcare in two key areas by increasing the number of inpatient beds… and renovating the space in the MGH ER to create a much more humane environment. Also…the staff was drastically increased to ensure continuity of care.”

For Christine, she said she is grateful her son made it to treatment and is doing much better now. However, she said she wants to make sure the next time he or another child needs help, he doesn’t have to wait so long.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news straight to your inbox

https://whdh.com/news/incredibly-frustrating-mass-medical-system-buckling-under-weight-of-mental-health-crises-in-kids-teens/ ‘Incredibly frustrating’: Massive medical system collapses under the weight of child and adolescent mental health crises – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button