SMI – Serious Mental Illness The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which defines SMI (Serious Mental Illness) as: A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders); Diagnosable currently or within the past year; Of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV); and, Resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. So, what does this have to do with David? David came to us when he was 18 months old. We became his parents, legally, 6 months later. In truth, since he was just months old, he has been a part of our lives. Mom had a home daycare. And we filled in as needed for his foster family‘s day care provider. David is 15 now, in the blink of an
I feel like we are playing with fire here. Admittedly, David also likes to play with fire. David admitted to that too. We had blamed another child for the small fires. David claims that it was him that did the deed. We have not had any of the fires during any of the periods when David has been in facility based care. What methods can we employ do we deal with that? Sure we can keep all matches, lighters, knives, candles, and other things that could be used to hurt the family, but at what point does it become too much? In what reality is it fair for everyone in the house to live in an environment like this? Why should the other kids feel like they too are being punished for David’s deeds? Safety and Security Sure we can fill the house with fire extinguishers, we have smoke detectors
What do you do when you need to balance the mental illness of one child against the wellness of a whole family? Do you allow the mentally ill and potentially very violent child to return home? Or do you push for another residential placement?