Parents Struggle to Deal with Mental Illness in Children

Parents Struggle to Deal with Mental Illness in Children

Buffy and Ernie Goodban watched helplessly for months as a mood disorder took control of their 14-year-old daughter Andrea.

In March, she flooded the family’s North Carolina home, causing more than $40,000 in damage. But more importantly, her mother said, “She was hurting her brothers; she was threatening to harm herself. One day, she ran for the scissors as she was saying she was going to cut her wrists.”

That’s when the Goodbans rushed Andrea to the nearest emergency room, and that’s when they learned about boarding.

Instead of turning the Goodbans and their daughter away, the family said the hospital she was rushed to chose to board her, meaning she was allowed to stay at the hospital until a bed for adolescent psychiatric patients became available somewhere in the state. The hospital couldn’t treat her because it doesn’t have an adolescent psychiatric unit.

“From the get-go, they told me they may not be able to find a place,” Buffy Goodban recalled. “They told me right away, it’s very difficult to find a bed.”

And it was. Days of boarding turned into weeks.

Andrea began her wait in the emergency department but eventually was moved to the pediatric unit. “She wasn’t getting any kind of therapy, counseling programs,” her father said. “Nothing.”

The Goodbans had fallen victim to (continue reading at NewsChannel5)

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