|By Elizabeth Simpson, The Virginian-Pilot|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Their story ended differently that day in 2009 -- with five police officers, a psych bed and residential treatment for a daughter who has been diagnosed with an array of mental conditions during the past 13 years.
They are glad to see mental health on the front burner of the
The Crosbys managed to find crisis services, but they always returned to the same question: What happens when the treatment ends?
Today, the couple have a protective order against their 19-year-old daughter, who is living in a group home she must leave when she turns 22. They asked that her name and location not be used, for their safety and hers.
Carolyn questions why mental health treatment isn't viewed as a medical condition that requires lifelong treatment rather than a community services problem that can easily fall through the cracks.
"I don't know what is out there for her past 21," she said. "It's kind of scary. Realistically, I think she'll be in the prison system."
The question of long-term services is one that advocates for people with mental illness have raised as the country moves from institutional care for the disabled to community-based living, driven by the civil rights call for least restrictive environments.
She cites a
Miller's organization is advocating to increase supportive services and to change the state's auxiliary grants, which pay for housing for low-income people with disabilities. The grants can be used only in assisted-living facilities and adult foster care, but a bill would expand that to housing and services monitored by the state's
"Language fixes here and there is not making the problem go away," Miller said. "I think that's what we've been doing, tinkering with words and not doing anything significant to increase services available to people in the community. What we've been doing has been so incremental it's not commensurate with the need."
The Crosbys began dealing with the mental health system when their daughter was diagnosed at 6 with bipolar disorder, a mental condition that leads to extreme high and low moods and behavior problems.
She was given to violent outbursts and over the years kicked holes in walls, broke windows, knocked panels out of doors.
The older she became, the harder she was to control. By the time she was in seventh grade, the Crosbys were calling 911. They said help was hit or miss, but she had stints in psych units at