Help me help my teenage sister get help.
February 26, 2012 10:35 AM Subscribe
What rights does a 16 year old in Texas have regarding pursuing her own health-care, specifically mental health?
posted by MuChao to health & fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My previous questions have dealt with my mother's mental health, and I'm happy to say I've resolved to low-contact with her and accepted the fact that I can do nothing to help or change her. This question is about my [minor] sister.
My sister will be 16 in May and will have her driver's license and car then, so transportation will be no issue. She started showing signs of depression a couple of years ago, and was receiving help through MHMR. I recently found out that my mother pulled her from the MHMR system about 6 months ago because she "seemed to be doing a lot better" (mom's words).
Sis is now having frequent, random bouts of hours-long crying fits for "no reason" (Sis's explanation). Mom apparently tried to take her back to MHMR, but they won't accept her again. While both Mom and Sis tell me that mom's looking into other options, I really don't trust that she's really putting in the effort. MHMR was the "easy" route, and mom's not known for doing much more than the "easy" path in most situations. It has been at least a month since my sister made me aware of the situation, and she till hasn't seen anyone.
As her sister, I obviously have no legal rights to get her the help she needs (and knows she needs and even desperately wants). Her father is useless in this regard as he doesn't believe in mental illness. (To him, it is a behavior/discipline issue) I am in no financial position to try for guardianship/custody.
I am being the best older sister I can from 250miles away. Sis is aware that I'll drive down to her at the drop of a hat if she needs it, and she always has an open door here too. We chat via text at least once, but more often two or three times a week.
My question is, given the above, what rights does my sister have (if any) in finding her own mental health providers? I know she has insurance coverage, though through which parent, and what the coverage entails, I cannot be sure. I'm more than willing to go to bat for my sister in any way I can, so I'm willing to explore other paths, if anyone has any other suggestions.
Location Info, if relevant: My sister/family lives in San Patricio county (po-dunk South Texas), and once she has her license, will have better access to the surrounding counties.