If you are living with someone who is suffering from a mental illness you already understand how difficult life can be.
Many don’t believe they are mentally ill and refuse to seek help. And even if they do know, finding the right drugs and being medication compliant is a challenge.
This may result in a crisis and a call to 911 for assistance.
We cannot stress enough to be sure to ask for a C.I.T. or Crisis Intervention Team to respond.
A Crisis Intervention Team are trained to help those with a mental illness. When individuals living with mental illness are experiencing a mental health crisis or are acting out as a result of a mental illness, CIT works to divert them to appropriate mental health services rather than just dragging them off to jail to be bonded out.
Read More: Mental Illness & Arrest
In our county, each agency as well as the Sheriff have such trained officers. However, there are circumstances where someone who is mentally ill may find themselves in jail and is need of assistance from a bail bond agency. Although our sheriff has extended training to his corrections staff, you may find yourself frustrated in your dealings with the jail.
More often than not, a family member has vital information they would like to convey regarding the medications the defendant needs – not only to deal with his mental issues but also chronic health conditions.
They know and try to provide the name of their loved ones’ attending physician only to be turned away or ignored.
An even more frustrating and dangerous situation arises when after posting bond or being released by the court, a family can find itself waiting for hours in the lobby to take the defendant to a facility where they have a bed waiting only to find that they have been transported to PEMS and later discharged without notice to the family, leaving the patient on their own.
Patients, more often than not, have preferences as to what facilities they wish to go to, as well as to attending physicians, treatments and medications.
How to guarantee that your loved ones wishes are honored requires some preplanning.
A psychiatric advance directive, also referred to as a P.A.M. is a legal document that identifies one or more individuals as an agent or agents who act on behalf of a person who is mentally ill. An agent has certain powers to make important decisions on the care of another, such as types of treatment and treatment facilities. This document ideally identifies the patient’s wishes for treatment and care, set forth prior to a recurrence of mental illness.
Here’s how you can prepare the documents.
- To find a sample forms needed in the state of Florida: Florida Forms
- If you feel the need for guidance or have questions: Click below to find a special needs attorney near you: https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/find-an-attorney/
- Have the documents easily accessible in a safe place and if an incident results in arrest, take a copy of the psychiatric advance directive to the lobby of the jail and ask for the nurse supervisor on duty for the medical wing. *Do not leave them at the lobby desk, but see that a copy of the directives is handed over directly to the supervisor along with your contact information.
- Be sure to note the supervisor’s name and as an extra precaution you may wish to get their signature on a receipt signifying that they have indeed received the document.
Now you are in a better position to assure the welfare of your loved one.
Action Plus Bail Bonds has been providing bail bonds and post bond services and support in Clearwater, St. Pete, and throughout Pinellas & Pasco County for over 27 years. Contact Us for more information.