help me help my friend after involuntary hospitalization
January 7, 2010 11:33 PM Subscribe
Tell me what I need to help a family where the mom has just been suddenly and involuntarily committed to hospital for psychosis in California.
I don't know many details. The woman is my dear friend, around 40, with a history of health problems and including eating disorders. Today, she went completely delusional and psychotic, resulting in the police being called and an ambulance taking her to the hospital. I spoke briefly with her husband. He does not know what to do and is caring for their young children (help is on the way to take care of the kids at home). They live in California.
What should I do to help the family? What supports do they need (friend and husband)? What do they need to know or should be aware of? What questions should they ask?
I've read the text of article 5150 (involuntary hospitalization), but it's pretty basic. What do I need to know that's between the lines? Do they need a lawyer (a relative is a lawyer in another state)? An independent psychiatrist or doctor? Other?
I want my friend to get the help she needs, but I am not aware of other psychotic episodes or mental illness (beyond anorexia), and I don't want her rights or opportunities jeopardized. I received several emails from my friend several days ago, and nothing was notable. I do not live nearby, and I can't go. Please feel free to interpret the 'what would be helpful to know' broadly. TIA