Monday, her first day back at school, was very hard. Many of the kids knew she had been inpatient and confronted her about it. Her plan was to deny it and just say she was at home but she wasn't prepared for the number of kids that knew. We kept her pretty close to our side Monday.
Tuesday the school received a threat that 2 students were going to shoot everybody (Now....the school has only said it was a "situation" its the kids that said what it was so I have no real concrete proof) and that took all the focus off her. Tuesday and Wednesday were decent days for her.
She came home Thursday completely broken. Her boyfriend had broke up with her because "He didn't want to be a bad influence on her" Obviously immature and manipulative...but what else would you expect from a 7th grader.
She admitted that she wanted to cut. Really bad. To her credit she declined my offer for her to stay home Friday and do her late work. We contacted her therapist and she was very, very concerned. Her advice was to look at residential treatment or at least an intensive outpatient program. My wife and I have each had friends commit suicide so we were really on edge.
She came home Friday not any better. Based on her therapists recommendations we kept her at our side till she literally couldn't keep her eyes open.
I had called the state to see what they needed for us to look into a residential treatment program. It requires an evaluation. Automatic approval is reserved for
1. Drug Abuse
2. Actual attempts of suicide
That's it. Otherwise you have to "exhaust every outpatient community based program." Basically case management. If we took her to be screened she wouldn't be accepted in. Not without exhausting every possibility outpatient.
This causes some real issues. Option 1 is an intensive 3 hour, 4 days a week therapy. She would have to leave school 45 minutes early every day, we would have a 30 mile round trip drive (For those late to the party...we have no income whatsoever...we can barely make our bills with loans and our income tax refund) bring our 6 year old and sit there for 3 hours. Yeah..no
Option 2 is to accept case management services from the county we live in. Currently most of our services are from the county next to us. I had been their billing manager for 4 years and my termination came with a lifetime EAP. Unfortunately the state will only allow case management from the county of residence. This causes 2 major problems.
1. Of the 25+ Community MH Centers this is the only one that is a "For profit" entity. This means parents must provide their income and must agree to be responsible for any charges not covered by insurance...regardless of all this being covered.
2. They (Confirmed last night) will not allow $0 income. They maintain you cannot live without some source of income. This is neither correct or even close. The State itself (In all its Republican Glory :-( ) doesn't count loans or income tax refunds as income because they are not. Our loans are documented as well as our refund. So...they won't even open a chart on her.
Now...to give some credit to the State, the lady has a contact where we need to go and is going to follow up on Monday because they also do not count loans/refund as income and technically, for profit or not, the Center is required to follow state guidelines
OFF TOPIC AND NARCISSISTIC COMMENT
Do you all see now why I want to be involved as a spokesperson for the hurting and poor? It's why I tweet to all the news people and some candidates. 7 years of professional experience with Medicaid and their requirements at a high level...combined with utilizing their services a few years gives me some unique insight and "I gots stuff to say!" :-)
It's a horrible situation to be in...then we found this on Friday
Anyway...we stumbled across this poem she had written on January 8th.
New Year Writing
When I was younger, I wanted to be rich. I wanted to become famous. Now, I realize it doesn’t matter, that you can be happy without money, yet I’m not happy. I want to be the best me I can be. I want to stop comparing myself to others. I want true, real happiness. I want to beat depression. I want to be labeled as normal, not some crazy girl who takes medication for her depression. I want to love myself. I want to be happy with my weight. I want to stop my self-harm. I want to become a therapist to help others. I want people to perceive mental illness as a part of a person --- not some disease. I want to achieve my goals, realistically. I know I might not have all of these come true, but I hope they could. Because hope leads to strength and perseverance, And with those, you can conquer almost anything. Then I can finally be happy.
The teachers comments were:
XXXXX, you are such an amazing person. I know you meet with Mrs. XXXXX often--does she know about the self-harm? I have so much hope for you and know you can overcome. You are worth it. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
I was really upset when I read this. My first thought was "Surely the school has a duty to report this" Followed by "And she was admitted for self harm 3 months later and was admitted for that very thing" No one contacted us or her therapist who see's her in school.
So who do we turn to for help? This needs to be about her and not us or the state or the school.
Open to suggestions....