AUGUSTA – An Augusta mother says her child has been in a hospital “emergency room” for a week, waiting for a bed to open up in a psychiatric hospital.
“Very stressful, very stressful” Martha Collins says she and her husband adopted Brock when he was just 5 months old – he was born with autism and fetal alcohol syndrome. Last week she says he became aggressive. “It was no longer safe at home he was becoming very assaultive”
Collins brought him to Maine General in Augusta – to try to get him into a psychiatric hospital. That was seven days ago. They make the calls about 3 times a day to present him and see if there’s any beds available and the rest of it is just us sitting in the room with him waiting.
“We have certainly seen significant challenges throughout the system” DHHS commissioner Mary Mayhew says Riverview Psychiatric Hospital has seen so many patients come in through the criminal justice system. That other civil patients aren’t getting their services in a timely manner.
It sends a ripple effect throughout the entire system Mayhew has been pushing for another free standing facility specifically for patients coming through the criminal justice system – to make more space for other patients.
Its faced opposition from some legislators who feel the plan needs further review.
It needs to change there needs to be more beds for kids. “The legislature needs to be an effective partner with us and help support increased capacity for those that have come through the criminal justice system.” Collins says her son Brock will be heading to a Spring Harbor Psychiatric facility tomorrow morning – but she’s afraid this could happen again.
If this treatment doesn’t work we’ll be right back here sitting in the emergency room waiting again