Homelessness can affect any of us. No one is exempt from this reality. Life is simply unpredictable. For many struggling with homelessness, it can be rather easy to hide. With a PO Box or the address of a close family member, no one will ever know that an individual is living on the streets day and night. Even more disheartening is that the majority are children or adults with severe or untreated mental illnesses in the US.
I want to commit suicide using assisted suicide when I turn 56 because I have severe Multiple Sclerosis and major depression, my life is over.
Being the recipient of such a statement changed my perspective of older individuals with severe or untreated mental and medical diagnoses. What is a therapist to do? Even more, how is another human being who understands just how unbearable life can become to respond? I still don’t know.
Severe or untreated illness can push individuals into the most unlikely areas of life. Many end up homeless, incarcerated, dead, or hanging on by a thread often hoping for a way out. For families or caregivers of a loved one with severe illness, it can be difficult to change the mind of one so confident in suicide as a remedy. Due to social and moral constraints on suicide, many incorrectly believe that physician assisted suicide is a better way to accomplish their goal.
It’s always important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider prior to receiving treatment. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions about treatment, length of treatment, and most importantly, what your rights are. Many healthcare providers will review your rights with you, your loved one, or friend prior to treatment. In some cases, you may need to ask the person discussing your rights to detail everything. Of course, you don’t want to make anyone’s job more difficult, but you do what to safeguard yourself or loved one.
Therapists face pressure when it comes to employing the principles of HIPAA and confidentiality, which often go hand and hand. Confidentiality is your legal and moral right to privacy in a healthcare setting. Health documents (paper or electronic), discussions, and other relevant information is protected in each state by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
HIPAA protects medical and mental health information from being exposed to the public or others who do not have access to a patient file. Faxes, emails, paper forms, and other correspondences within a medical or mental health agency, must be protected and handled with care.
If you, your loved one, or friend has been hospitalized or cared for in a healthcare setting, their information is protected under HIPAA. In order to receive any kind of healthcare information on another individual HIPAA will require the patient or client to complete what is known as an informed consent form and Authorization to release health information.
Many families and friends express frustration with confidentiality when healthcare information is needed. Confidentiality is defined as your legal and moral right to privacy in a therapeutic setting.
Love is more than a feeling of butterflies at the thought of one’s beloved or a fleeting desire and stream of words in a love ballad. Love is complex and entails a silent thread by which we connect to another. We have very little control over its power. Love crosses racial, social, and even physical barriers. It is so mysteriously psychological, emotional, and divine.
In the previous article we discussed issues most essential to promoting mental health services in the African American community. We also looked at the consequences of untreated mental health and barriers such as drug abuse, self-harm, suicide, criminal behavior, juvenile delinquency, stigma, and lack of knowledge.
Isn’t he just the most beautiful boy? This sweet, innocent face represents the many faces in America that suffer from psychiatric and behavioral disorders that go overlooked as a result of a lack of mental healthcare.
Black History Month always re-surfaces multiple issues of concern. Unfortunately, we rarely hear discussion about mental health among ethnic minorities during this time.
Knowledge TRULY is power. Many caregivers and families often end up perplexed by the multiple avenues and types of treatment options available in social services. Many do not receive all the information they could get from their therapists, case workers, or advocates. So I encourage you to DIY (Do It Yourself)!
Families are quite unaware of what leads their loved one(s) to consider suicide. Suicidal ideation is the act of entertaining thoughts of taking your life. For the most part, depression alone can leave a detrimental mark on the psyche. Having worked with suicidal and extremely depressed teens, I consider depression a disease of humanity, a human condition of existence.