Mentally Ill Man Turned Away from Help?


POSTED: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 8:40pm

UPDATED: Sunday, April 4, 2010 - 5:35pm

EL PASO, TX - A man with depression says he reached out to a local mental health agency for help, but instead he was put on a waiting list. Now he's afraid he could hurt himself or others.

"I can one day snap, and hurt myself or hurt my family, or hurt someone that I don't know," Armando said.

Not all of his friends and family know he's living with severe depression, so he asked us not to completely identify him. He says the Mental Health and Mental Retardation center put him on a four month waiting list when he tried to get help for what he considers a dangerous mental disorder.

"That's like a stab to the heart right there, having to... wait four months. I just felt like my world was coming to an end because I'm losing hope, and I'm hurting," he said.

We asked MHMR if people like Armando are being told to wait.

"There is a shortage of psychiatrists, there's a shortage of child psychiatrist so when a person is not in immediate danger they often do have to wait for services, often weeks and often months," Spokesman Rene Hurtado said.

"Holding it in for so long I'm scared that one day I'm going to turn out to be a person that can be psychotic and can cause damage. I'm not stable in the head like a normal human being," Armando said.

Still MHMR insists psychiatrists would not have turned him away if he was in immediate need of help.

"He needs to know, and the community needs to know that there is always somebody available," Hurtado said.

We have given Armando a direct number to MHMR, we will let you know if he gets the help he says he needs.

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maybe if this guy had a job like the rest of us, he would be able to seek out mental health care through his insurance. people in this country are looking for a handout without working. that is a serious problem in this country. the bleeding hearts of this nation are the ones who want to help the ones who cant help themselves. dont let this fall on the backs of our taxpayers. we already have enough burdens these days with bailouts and warfunding

I have seen firsthand what depression can do, and I find it hard to believe that his family members are not aware of his problem. Something doesn't sound right here. Thoughts of harming yourself can be a symptom of depression, but hurting someone else? The cynic in me is wondering is there's some premeditated course of action that will ensue. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Hopefully, he will get the help he needs/wants.

I know "Armando" which, well thats not his name. I used to be friends with him. Not anymore for many manipulative reasons. He uses "his drepression" as an excuse for his actions. He is mostly a drug addict that blames others for his actions. And here he is blaming others again for him not taking the initiative to get himself help. He wants an easy fix to things, hence the drug addict in him. I am no longer his friend because he demands things from others (me) and feels entitled to things.

Apparently after a basic evaluation of this man, he was placed on a waiting list and given an emergency contact number in case he felt his situation worsened. MHMR seems to be a tax-funded treatment organization for those without other resources. It is a form of charity care and must do what it is able with the staff and funds it is allocated. Once national socialized medicine is rolled out, EVERYONE will be waiting in line. Thanks Reyes! Thanks Obamacare.


Seriously? yes, Jesus Christ is going to prescribe some Zoloft for the guy while the pastor provides counseling. Oh wait, i think Jesus Christ is now part of an HMO.

The problem isn't that they don't want to help, they just don't have the resources. Its a trajedy but there is just not enough health care proffesionals to go around. And with Obamacare right around the corner this is only going to get worse. Its sad, but the only way to get help is to say your suicidal or homicidal. I work in the healthcare field and see this all to often. We need incentives for people to work their butts off for virtually no pay or apprication.

obamacare just had to pop up. if you didnt know the military uses government run health care and last time i checked thousands of people a year are flocking to military so there family gets covered in this horrible thing called free health care. i used military health care for 10 years and free is good i have no complaints what so ever and neither does my healthy family.

I agreee with "wow". Texas is now 49th in funding for mental health. Fix this and you fix people, in the meantime, people will get on wait list until they are full blown suicidal. This guy is not full blow suicidial, saying "i might snap and hurt myself or others" that does not constitute a psychiatric emergency. Hec anyone of us can snap, mental patient or not. Imagine how many mental patients say these words and not all are committed. Difference is, KTSM chosses to air this unfounded stupidity

You guys have it all twisted. If you remember some months back there was am issue where the state was unwilling to give EPMHMR a certain amount of funding for out patient psych services in which this man was applying for.

So because of that the are forced to use that money wisely and use it for more severe cases such as people with schizoprenia, schizoaffective, bipolar, etc. Im not saying that this man's cases isnt important,but there are more severe cases out there.

Depression is a serious disease, it's not something to be taken lightly. There are days when you feel so confused and desperate. If Armando told them he didn't know what he might do to himself or others then thats a big indication that he's not well at all.They should not have turned him away, he needs help.El Paso needs to step up with their emergency crisis situations.

I am not at all surprised to see that this poor man can not get help now when he needs it. Unfortuantely, it will probably be too late when the help is available. Who assesses the people when they come in and ask for help? With mental illness you can not assume the person is ok just by looking at them. He/she may be having a good day today but what about tomorrow? The problem is that many of these people are homeless and roaming the streets and could endanger themselves or an innocent person.

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