Living with a mental illness can be challenging for not only the person who suffers from the complication, but also the family who provides care. If you are caring for a loved one who has a mental illness, it is important to become familiar with the dynamics of care provided, both on an inpatient basis as well as an outpatient basis.
For many teenagers with mental illness, it is not uncommon to require the services of an inpatient mental health facility at some point in their care. When considering the facility that you will use for your teen’s mental health treatment, it is important to consider not only the facilities that your health insurance company recommends and approves, but also those facilities that you find independently. Because mental health institutions have different foundations on which to provide care, finding the best one for your teen’s particular healthcare needs will provide the best possible outcome.
When looking for a mental health facility for inpatient mental health services, one issue of considering is the aspect of seclusion and how the facility, and their staff, will utilize seclusion for their inpatient mental health residents. While you may not anticipate that your teen will require seclusion during his or her stay in the mental health facility, understanding the facility’s core belief about seclusion, and when it should be used, is important.
For most teenagers with mental illness, the best possible outcomes occur in mental health facilities who utilize seclusion only as a last resort of treatment and only when the patient is considered a threat to themselves or to other individuals in the institution. For teenagers, the use of seclusion as a form of punishment for bad behavior does not provide for positive outcomes and, therefore, should not be used in the facility where your teen will be admitted. In lieu of seclusion, if your teen needs to be punished for bad behavior or controlled to prevent injury, simple restraint measures should be used.
While the trauma of facing your teen’s mental health complications is most often causing distress in your own life, it is important to simply not place your teenager into any mental health facility your insurance company recommends and approves. When considering options for your teen’s mental health services, be sure to ask about restraint and seclusion for the facilities you are visiting and find the best one for your teenager’s mental health needs.
Sources: Mental Institutions in America, by Gerald N. Grob