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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My 29 year old son that lives with me, is having mental

Resolved Question:

My 29 year old son that lives with me, is having mental health issues that are dangerous to him and myself. I don't know what to do to help him. He will not seek help either by me doing it or him doing it. Do I have any options?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

If you feel your son is exhibiting behaviors that are dangerous to you and/or to himself, you can try to 302 him. A 302 is a legal action where you witness a person who says and/or does something that puts their own life or someone else is in jeopardy. You can file a 302 through your local hospital. All you need to do is be sure that you or whomever witnessed the dangerous threat or behavior goes personally to the ER and files. The nurse or mental health professional on staff takes your information, asks you questions and presents the 302 to the doctor. If the doctor agrees and signs the 302, the police will be called to pick up the person. They are then brought to the hospital for an evaluation whether or not they want to go and most likely admitted for treatment.

The police also have the authority to file a 302 if they witness the behavior. So if your son is threatening you or himself and you contact the police for assistance, they can remove him and admit him to the hospital instead of jail.

Beyond a 302, your son cannot be forced into treatment. It is his legal right to refuse, even though he may need it.

If you know your son's diagnosis, you can also educate yourself about it. The knowledge can help you convince him he needs help, or you can use it to protect yourself. You can also help manage his behavior.

You can also look into ways to move him out of your home if you do not feel he is safe there. If he is disabled or unable to care for himself, he may be eligible for city or county services. Contact them to see what they offer.

There are also other services available besides therapy. For example, your son may be open to having a case manager rather than a therapist. Or he might be willing to join a support group on line or in person. Try contacting your local community mental health clinic again to ask for suggestions. Also, try your local United Way. They have numerous resources that you can use, as well as your son.

Consider joining a support group yourself, either in person or on line. The support you receive can help you cope with the stress of having a child with a mental illness. Try NAMI for more information and resources.

I hope this has helped you. Let me know if you have any further questions,


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This is what I thought. I guess I was hoping for a miracle answer.

Thank you for your time.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry, but most of the time there is no easy answer. I wish it were easier. There are many people out there who feel the same. But try some of the suggestions I gave you. These have helped people I worked with in the past who were in the same situation you are.

Keep trying and don't give up hope,


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