Families in which children and teens are suffering from mental illness are enduring waits of four to eight weeks to get appointments with psychiatrists. To mitigate delays, health officials are working to help pediatricians treat mental health issues.
Julie Trbovich holds an old photo of her and her now 21-year-old son who has schizophrenia and lives on the streets. Despite multiple diagnoses of mental health and behavioral problems, Trbovich repeatedly contended with delays in getting him to a psychiatrist — delays created by a widespread shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists.
by Mary Niederberger | PublicSource
“Living with a child who suffers from mental illness can be like living in a minefield.
“Each day brings with it the possibility of an explosion.
“Refusing to go to school. Uncontrollable crying and screaming. Violence toward family members. A threat or attempt of suicide.
“Life becomes unpredictable in the scariest ways.
“‘You can have 7-year-olds who are climbing out of their bedroom windows onto the roof,’ said Julie Trbovich.
“As the mother of a 21-year-old who has schizophrenia, Trbovich would know.”