Help a mother who desperately needs to send her daughter to a therapeutic boarding school after the daughter was hospitalized for wishing to harm herself.
How much does it cost to stop a school shooting?
As the coverage about one of those hits the news, everyone wonders what could have been done to have prevented it. And inevitably, the articles written by mothers who are struggling with the kids with mental health issues appear in the aftermath. And inevitably, they get lost in all the other ones, about politics and policies and politicians, etc., etc.…
The mental health epidemics in the US is rampant, and one does not need to be a professional to observe it. One can do a Google search to see the stats and all the organizations and what they do, but all of it boils down to a lot of talk, and no action. Or, to be precise, no affordable action.
My teenage daughter was recently hospitalized for suicidal ideation. She met the criteria for admission, because (in addition to verbalizing the intent), she searched Amazon for ropes. She was there for two weeks, during which she met with a psychiatrist almost every day for maybe five minutes. There was some group therapy, but no individual one, and no one seemed to ever inquire why is it that she wants to kill herself in the first place. To get out of the hospital, all she had to do is verbally agree that if she ever “feels sad” again, she will tell someone. The discharge plan consisted of the referral to the voluntary intensive therapeutic program (which currently takes place online!), which she had no intention of attending – as was made clear to the staff.
This experience cost the insurance $50,000 for two weeks. This is how much half a year in a therapeutic boarding school would cost. But, as you can imagine, the insurance won’t pay for it.
My daughter has been suffering from trauma, from being bullied and not fitting in in school (she has a diagnosis of Asperger’s), and from the unstable family situation resulting from her siblings and dad having mental health issues, which landed him in jail. She has been hiding out in Cyber school for two years and receiving some outpatient and group therapy, but she is getting worse faster than she is getting better. All she can think about is revenge, which leads to violence ideations and graphic visualizations of hurting people who are close to her and who she blames, directly or indirectly, for her pain. And, of course, the school. But the mental health professionals, paid by insurance, are unimpressed – she can’t get a gun now, can she?
So, how long should we wait before she will be capable of acting on the threats? The older she gets, the harder it will be to treat her. The therapeutic facilities, which specialize in dealing with teens in crisis, are willing to accept her – but the tuition is unthinkable. So, I was told not to think about the money, but about doing what’s right – giving her the best chance to heal.
Please consider being a part of the solution. She needs help, and she needs it right away. And, who knows whose lives you will also be saving.
This fund is endorsed by Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Ner Israel, Baltimore.