In my last update, I shared that our daughter was confined in a juvenile detention facility for 21 days. We have learned new information regarding incidents that occurred leading up the her setting fire to her mattress while in a behavioral facility. I will not go into details about these events, but I can say that the fire was a cry for help, and not of malicious intent, as we first thought.
After picking up our daughter this past Tuesday, things seemed to be ok. We went to lunch and then home to unwind. There had been some medication changes during her confinement and my wife had already had plans to resume her therapy and get her medications corrected.
We all turned in around 9:30 pm and were exhausted. Around 11:30 pm, we were awakened by our oldest daughter. She said her younger sister had been in the bathroom for an hour and wasn't answering the door. We woke and got the door open, only to find the window open and our daughter gone.
We filed a report with law enforcement and waited for an update. Around 5:45 am Wednesday morning, we received a call telling us that a law enforcement officer was enroute to our home with our daughter. The day went on and she acted as if nothing had happened. Later that evening, we went to church as usual and had a peaceful evening.
My wife and I had been calling dozens of facilities in an attempt to find residential treatment for her. Over the past several weeks, we have called California, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Utah, Lousiana, Colorado, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Many facilities were "non-secure" facilities and they wouldn't accept her with a history of running away. Of the many facilities we called that were "secure" facilities, once we disclosed the fact that she had been charged with Arson, it was an immediate NO! As the day came to an end, my wife and I continued researching facilities online and making notes to follow up on the next day.
Today, we began making more calls and meeting more obstacles. It is extremely difficult to find help for a child in our daughters situation. We spent the day emailing, making calls and reaching out to our local therapist for guidance. Our daughter kept asking us if we had found a place for her to go yet. She was motivated to get into a facility so that she could get help and get her felony charge dropped, as the state attorney agreed to. We assured her that we would keep searching and not give up.
At approximately 4:45 pm our daughter asked if she could go next door and fix the little girls hair, which she does often, I said yes. It had been a peaceful day, without any conflict. About 45 minutes later, we learned from the neighbor that our daughter had never actually gone over there. We called law enforcement and made another report. Approximately 2 hours later, we received a call from dispatch stating that our daughter had been located by law enforcement locked in a bathroom at a park, with fresh lacerations on both her arms. An ambulance was called and our daughter was transported to a local hospital. My wife and I were heartbroken, but thankful she was now safe and in a place that can help her get on the road to the help she needs.
What we have learned over the past several months is that finding necessary help for a loved one struggling with mental health issues is extremely hard and extremely expensive. Even with insurance, many places charge amounts that are above what the insurance companies feel is fair, therefore the remaining costs fall on the family. One facility in Lousiana said that they accept BCBS and that I would need to pay $30,000 up front for treatment, even though my BCBS deductible had been met and would pay 100%. Many places had prices from $500-$650 per day with an average treatment time of 4-6 months. This journey is difficult and exhausting, but we will never give up on finding help for our daughter.
My mom started a GoFund me to help us with getting our daughter the help she needs. I'm not a person who often asks for help, but even with insurance, there is a large portion that will be out of pocket and every little bit will help. Thank you. GoFundMe