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.