Friday, June 28, 2013
Sending out an SMS
I have been supporting a client for the past month and a half exclusively by text message. Has anyone else done this sort of thing? Usually we would discharge a client if we went more than 30 days or so without face to face contact, but in this case the client is at a high risk for suicide, so we wanted to try and stay connected any way we could.
And it seems to be paying off. He finally consented yesterday to go to a hospital - not just any hospital mind you, but one hospital in particular, in the next city. If we could send him in a taxi (not something we normally do) and if I could guarantee that they would admit him, and guarantee they would be "better" than the other hospitals in our area. I told him no way I could do that, but I did get approval to send the taxi.
I'm glad I did. The admitting psychiatrist actually called me this morning to get some history and let me know my client would be admitted. This is unprecedented! Last time I sent out the local Mobile Crisis team and they took him to our local hospital, they had discharged him before I even got back to work in the morning! I know there are lots of reasons this may have happened, but it's still very frustrating and also compromised my therapeutic relationship with the client. It's so rare that hospitals follow up with us in this way. The psych even stated that he could see this client needs long term care more than a hospital stay, but was willing to admit him in hopes that we can facilitate that while he's in.
I love when things work out this way. It remains to be seen of course what will come next with this client, but so far so good. And after I worried that my texts were just floating in the abyss, probably not affecting him at all. It's still not my favourite way to practice, but just goes to show any connection is better than no connection.
What a great start to my long weekend, happy summer everyone!