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How Can I Help in My Child’s Treatment?

It is our goal at Peninsula Hospital to provide quality patient care in a safe and secure therapeutic environment.  If you have any concerns about your child’s safety or the safety of other patients, please communicate your concerns to a Peninsula Hospital staff member.  You are an important part of your child’s recovery.  Your child needs you to be consistent, honest and predictable as you meet with him/her and treatment staff during his/her hospital stay. 

Parental and peer support is an important part of recovery. Specific ways to make treatment and hospitalization as effective as possible are listed below.

Participate in and be on time for family therapy and/or scheduled visitation.

If an appointment must be cancelled, call promptly to make the therapist aware of your need to reschedule. Cancellations or no-shows may cause additional stress during an already stressful time.

Be truthful.

This can be difficult due to the fact that family problems are often not discussed outside the home. Your efforts to be honest and to take the emotional risk to bring up difficult or sensitive issues in treatment will make this a more effective experience. Essentially, all parties involved will “get out of family therapy what they put into it”. At Peninsula, Family therapy is for safety planning and addressing why the patient has been admitted. Continuing family therapy after discharge is encouraged.

Be open and caring.

Patients may feel bad or ashamed as a result of the incidents/ behaviors that led to hospitalization. Sympathy and support are crucial.

Accept the problem.

Don’t ignore or explain away (minimize) symptoms. Helping the patient identify symptoms or problems assists them in the first stage toward change.

Learn the facts.

Educate yourself about mental illness. Ask the therapist or doctor for information about specific problems or treatment. Ask questions if you don’t understand or are hearing about something for the first time. Educational materials are available upon request. The therapist will likely have materials for you to review when you meet for the family therapy session.

Begin to establish boundaries and structure for your child.

Some ways to do this are in keeping issues pertinent to family therapy out of visitation discussions, and by leaving if visitation becomes disruptive. Helping to enforce hospital rules establishes structure and can be helpful setting a pattern of structure in the home.

Seek additional help and support.

Mental health issues may stem from family dynamics. Guardians may consider seeking professional help for themselves to address their issues or to receive support during this difficult time. Ask the patient’s therapist for additional information about services that may be available.

Give feedback to hospital staff.

Discuss your goals and expectations with staff. At discharge, you will receive a Family Satisfaction Survey to complete. Our goal is to provide patients and family with excellent care. We take your comments seriously and have used suggestions from families to make our services better fit the needs of our patients and families.