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Why should I have a discharge plan for my loved one with mental illness?

It has been documented that on many occasions, serious mental illness (SMI) patients are discharged without being fully stabilized and sometimes without their family's knowledge, certainly without a discharge plan. Discharge planning is essential to assure a good outcome for the person, transferring his care to mental health services in the community and to his home and family. Sending the patient out of the hospital with no plan has sometimes had unfortunate results including harm to self and/or to others.

As soon as your relative is admitted to hospital, seek to be involved in the planning for his discharge and maintain communication. Make sure your name and contact procedure are known to the persons responsible for his/her hospital stay.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.