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    Question on Suicide

    I have no idea where to put this question so if you see fit to move it by all means please do.

    My question - In America can someone be involuntary admitted to a psychiatric/ mental health unit for having suicidal thoughts or tendencies even if they are not mentally unwell? or even if they do have a diagnoses but the choice of suicide is not a result of their disorder, meaning the choice and is theirs and they are fully aware?
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    Total Eclipse's Avatar Happy Sparkles and Coffee
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    This depends on a few things, if they are minors, (deffo can be forced into involuntary admitted), and who you tell these thoughts to? Even for adults... Like, if you called a hotline, they'd only get police involved if they REALLY think you've taken something or you keep saying your going to kill yourself in the phone call, and nothing they say are helping, they can call the cops and no mater at what age involuntary admit you to the hospital for a 24 - 72 hour evaluation.
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    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    Thoughts and tendencies--I'd say no. But actual attempts--yes. My boyfriend took an overdose several yrs ago and after being in a coma for a few days, he came out of it. But before we had a chance to go to the hospital and get him--they sent him to the "11th floor." It was the locked floor, the "psych-ward" for people who were under observation for dangerous behaviors and or criminally insane. I visited there a lot and it was similar to jail, and he may have seen a doctor about 10 min a few times the whole week. It took us a week to get him out of there.

    I think if someone is suicidal and still conscious, they may be able to convince them to admit themselves voluntarily. That would probably be better, but in any case, I' pretty sure they only hold the patient for as long as their insurance will pay for, and then voila--you're ok to leave.

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    Quote pam View Post
    Thoughts and tendencies--I'd say no. But actual attempts--yes. My boyfriend took an overdose several yrs ago and after being in a coma for a few days, he came out of it. But before we had a chance to go to the hospital and get him--they sent him to the "11th floor." It was the locked floor, the "psych-ward" for people who were under observation for dangerous behaviors and or criminally insane. I visited there a lot and it was similar to jail, and he may have seen a doctor about 10 min a few times the whole week. It took us a week to get him out of there.

    I think if someone is suicidal and still conscious, they may be able to convince them to admit themselves voluntarily. That would probably be better, but in any case, I' pretty sure they only hold the patient for as long as their insurance will pay for, and then voila--you're ok to leave.
    This insurance crap drives me nuts - we don't have that here - if you have no insurance and are of real need of care ie involuntary admission, will you get any help?
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    Quote Ventura View Post
    This depends on a few things, if they are minors, (deffo can be forced into involuntary admitted), and who you tell these thoughts to? Even for adults... Like, if you called a hotline, they'd only get police involved if they REALLY think you've taken something or you keep saying your going to kill yourself in the phone call, and nothing they say are helping, they can call the cops and no mater at what age involuntary admit you to the hospital for a 24 - 72 hour evaluation.
    Okay and once that evaluation is done can they hold you if you still have the thoughts etc but no mental health problems?
    life---> <---me

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    Total Eclipse's Avatar Happy Sparkles and Coffee
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    Quote lasair View Post
    Okay and once that evaluation is done can they hold you if you still have the thoughts etc but no mental health problems?
    It depends, I've seen people get released within hours. If the first hour or 2 of the things they do they see a red flag they hold you. Even for attempts sometimes they only hold you for the 24- 72 hour time span, I don't think they can hold you past that??
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    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    Quote lasair View Post
    This insurance crap drives me nuts - we don't have that here - if you have no insurance and are of real need of care ie involuntary admission, will you get any help?
    Not that I know of. But I could be wrong.

    I know if you're poor or like me can't work because of psychological problems, you get Medicaid, which is government-paid-for health insurance. But they have their limits to what they will pay also. Even for regular psychotherapy I have to go to a "clinic" rather than to someone in private practice because they don't take Medicaid. Now, whether that;s because they aren't allowed to, or, more likely, because they can get more money from regular insurance companies, is another story.

    Yeah, insurance is big business here and $$$ comes before caring about individual citizens. It's weird how we have the right to a lawyer to defend us in court, but not a right to see a doctor--that's still a privilege.

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    Quote Ventura View Post
    It depends, I've seen people get released within hours. If the first hour or 2 of the things they do they see a red flag they hold you. Even for attempts sometimes they only hold you for the 24- 72 hour time span, I don't think they can hold you past that??
    Thanks sweety - just trying to broaden my knowledge of health services and make an understanding of stuff in my head!
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    Quote pam View Post
    Not that I know of. But I could be wrong.

    I know if you're poor or like me can't work because of psychological problems, you get Medicaid, which is government-paid-for health insurance. But they have their limits to what they will pay also. Even for regular psychotherapy I have to go to a "clinic" rather than to someone in private practice because they don't take Medicaid. Now, whether that;s because they aren't allowed to, or, more likely, because they can get more money from regular insurance companies, is another story.

    Yeah, insurance is big business here and $$$ comes before caring about individual citizens. It's weird how we have the right to a lawyer to defend us in court, but not a right to see a doctor--that's still a privilege.
    I could never do it - work in the states under that rule of thumb. I never heard of medicaid though.
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    I find it very weird and disturbing that I live in a country where sociopaths are celebrated but people in distress are sent to wards to be treated like zoo animals.

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    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    Quote lasair View Post
    I could never do it - work in the states under that rule of thumb. I never heard of medicaid though.
    You could think of Medicaid as welfare health insurance. You go to the same building to apply for it (social services). It's kind of humiliating tho--they treat you like you're just a lazy bum who doesn't want to work. I don't know much about the UK except I think you call it being "on the dole"? But if you are "officially disabled" like I am (hopefully not forever) then you can get help without them making you feel like dirt. Because then I have a "real" reason I can't work.

    But you know the store WalMart? IDK if they still do this, but they used to pay the workers so little and not give them full time hours so that they would still actually qualify because of their low income) for foodstamps (help with paying for food) and Medicaid....Multi-million $ corporation getting out of having to pay for their own employees' benefits....made me sick to find that out. There are a lot of unfair things that happen here that the rest of the civilized world looks at us like we are crazy for, lol. It's a price we pay for having that "we are the freest country in the world" attitude. But I think we are a relatively young country and will improve over the coming decades and centuries, lol.

    Getting back to your question about suicide. It does seem like that's the least we can help people with, when they are suicidal. And I don't mean to sound so negative about the US. I remembered, there is a national suicide hotline anyone can call. And I assume they help you while you're in crisis and will be led in a direction of where to get help in your area. IDK, I never called it.

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    When I was suicidal, and admitted myself to a mental ward, I had to write a note that explained that I was well enough to go home. The nurses said that nobody who was suicidal could have written something like that.

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    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    Quote WintersTale View Post
    When I was suicidal, and admitted myself to a mental ward, I had to write a note that explained that I was well enough to go home. The nurses said that nobody who was suicidal could have written something like that.
    Did you agree with the nurses? I mean, that sounds crazy to me. Did they equate being suicidal with also not having the mental capacity to write something convincing? Or creative for that matter--weren't a lot of writers very intelligent and yet also depressed and suicidal? What did your writing ability have to do with it? I don't get it! lol. My boyfriend had to have an appt with a therapist set up before they let him go. That was about it. But he wasn't voluntary like you....maybe your insurance ran out right at the same time you wrote that letter?.... (I hope you can detect my sarcasm and don't mind me joking).

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    Quote Ventura View Post
    Like, if you called a hotline, they'd only get police involved if they REALLY think you've taken something or you keep saying your going to kill yourself in the phone call, and nothing they say are helping, they can call the cops and no mater at what age involuntary admit you to the hospital for a 24 - 72 hour evaluation.
    The above would be a policy that I couldn't disagree with more. I can easily imagine situations in which it wouldn't help and could even have disastrous consequences. Imagine a suicidal individual with phone in one hand and a gun in the other, chatting about death, simply wanting someone to talk to in their final hour. The suicide hotline calls 911 and cops bust down the door. It's not hard to see how that could turn into a shootout where both the suicidal individual & cops end up dead. Instead of saving lives, in my hypothetical intervention ended up increasing the body count.

    Involuntary commitment laws hinder open & honest communication. A suicidal person can't openly discuss what they really think and plan to do with a therapist. They couldn't, for example, say that over the weekend they're planning to make a final decision on whether or not to die. They'll instead be forced to hide their true intentions to avoid being locked up against their will. How is that helpful? Perhaps if the threat of being turned into a prisoner were removed they'd feel comfortable discussing it with their therapist & perhaps that discussion would end with them deciding not to die.

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    Quote WintersTale View Post
    When I was suicidal, and admitted myself to a mental ward, I had to write a note that explained that I was well enough to go home. The nurses said that nobody who was suicidal could have written something like that.
    Think of Hemingway. He blew his brains out one summer morning on his front porch. Do you think Hemingway could have penned a lovely note? Hell, he could likely have written a whole damn novel on the issue.

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