In as much as there is a vicious cycle of patients returning to the Psych Ward who relapse after being stabilized there is a process that takes place before they are released in the first place.
It must be established that the released patient has some place to stay. Often if the patient’s families are willing to take them in, then that would be an easy fix. The patient would be released to a responsible family member and that is that. But the reality with the majority of the mentally ill is that their families often abandon them or they do not want the responsibility to be their care taker. Luckily the mentally ill isn’t left out in the cold. There is an entire industry that has popped up to fill the void. This type of industry is in the non-profit sector called “Supportive Housing.”
There are different types of Support Housing and many of them are run by private corporations that profess that they are not for profit, but on a whole some sort of profit is being made otherwise there won’t be any incentive to have such a program that assist people that cannot assist themselves.
The type of support housing ranges from substance abuse, senior housing, Veterans, the mentally ill, the medically frail etc. Some are temporary such as a substance abuse residence. The patients go through an organized program, and when they wean the substance abuser from being dependent on a substance; they are cut loose. The supportive residence for people who are medically frail, once their aliment is managed or they recover from their aliment; then they would move onto permeant housing. Then there are supportive housing that is long term. These type of support environment assist those who can function but not to the degree of full independence that they can fend for themselves such as holding down regular employment, managing finances or even practice healthy personal hygiene. The mentally ill that were patients in the Psych Ward fall into this category.
In this day the mentally ill are given a say so on the approach to therapy and how their condition is being managed; even though the mentally ill decision making skills and outlook are clouded by their mental impairment; legally they have the power of choice. This means that the State cannot compel an individual to participate in the programs what the supportive housing environment have to offer. Yet at the same token they will not be released from a stay in the Psych Ward if they do not have some type of residence and support. The State does not want the Psych Ward to dump any released patient on the streets to fend for themselves and contribute to the homeless population.
Before anyone one is released from the Psych Ward, if the family doesn’t want anything to do with the mentally ill family member; the Psych Ward Admin would contact representatives to various support housing, who will interview the Psych Ward patient and determine if the Psych Ward patient is a good fit for their program. If they are accepted into a support housing, the Psych Ward patient have to agree to have the support house manage their medication, finances and monitor their therapy. It is understood that the mentally ill cannot truly live independently.
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