Archive for February 26th, 2008

The Letter I Never Mailed to the Georgia Governor

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

I was going through my stack of papers and found this one. I intended to mail it to Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia, the lieutenant governor, the Cobb County Community Service Board, and a few other individuals that I could locate on the mental health section of the Georgia state government website. I do not know why I did not mail it, other than from a feeling of hopelessness that it would do any good.

stuffed folder of papers

My overstuffed folder of papers pertaining to DS’s illness last year.

September 5, 2007

Dear Governor Perdue,

My son DS is mentally ill with schizoaffective disorder and living in a personal care home at _________________ Road, Marietta, Georgia, in Cobb County.

After some type of state inspection of the PCH last week, we were informed that DS needed to be attending a day program. He needs the therapy to prevent a relapse that could cause him to be re-hospitalized. (He has had three hospitalizations since June 1st, 2007) Also, the personal care home will lose its license if he is not involved in a day program, we were informed. If he does not attend a program, he will have no place to live but the streets. We were given two weeks to resolve the matter.

DS did attempt the program at OCS (the Hope Program?) off Windy Hill Road in Marietta. Unfortunately because of his mental illness, he is having fearful delusions about that place and is adamant about staying away from it.

We have been attempting to contact the Cobb County Community Service Board to find out about other day programs or solutions to his residential problem. My first attempt was shrugged off because I am not the client. When I put my son DS on the telephone, he first dialed ____________ and was directed to dial ____________. After dialing that number, he was directed to call the first number! When he informed the person on the line that we tried that number already, his call was redirected to a voice mailbox. (I do not know whose.) We have waited for a reply to the message left there 24 hours ago and have received none.

I am asking for some help in finding a day program for DS in Cobb County. His only resource to pay for one is Medicaid. (For out-of-county letters: I am willing to look at other residential arrangements in other counties, if that is what it takes to have DS in a residential arrangement and a day program.)

If HIPAA (privacy issues) make it difficult for you to communicate with me, DS would probably sign a release to discuss matters with me.

Sincerely,
(my contact info and DS’s picture)

I had forgotten about driving down to my son’s PCH and putting him on the telephone. I also remember another example of my level of desperation at this time. I took DS to the local homeless shelter (MUST Ministries in Marietta, GA) to try to find some volunteer who might be able to steer us in the direction of finding some alternate housing or programs for DS. As it turns out, it was Labor Day, and there was no one there we could talk to. We did see the homeless people loitering in the parking lot. It upset DS and he said, “you are trying to scare me.” I am not proud to say it was true. I was hoping to scare him sufficiently about the prospect of joining the homeless that he would return to the OCS program. Didn’t work.

One more note about the Governor Sonny Perdue. My mother said to me the other day that she had heard that the governor was proposing more money for mental health in Georgia. I usually avoid discussing anything remotely political with her because of our differences, but I replied, “Yes, more money would be good, but I think we need some new ideas, too.”