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M

Morning Angel

Useless Broken Wings
Aug 8, 2018
619
I’ve learned a lot about how involuntary holds and welfare checks work. I’ve narrowly missed many psychiatric holds by evading the cops and knowing what to say. I’m going to tell you a couple of these stories and offer advice (at least to other Americans on SS).

One time, I called a hotline and stupidly disclosed that I was imminently at risk for suicide. The counselor said some platitude to me and said goodbye, and immediately contacted police. Because the cops look you up by your last known address (using your phone number), they missed me because I’d just recently moved. So they called my cell directly (listed as “unknown” when they called). They told me that they’d been notified that I was suicidal by the hotline and they needed to talk to me. I denied the story, saying I’d never ever discussed the idea of suicide with the hotline. The cop tried to coax me into giving him my location “just to talk.” I said I needed to go and could he please call me back. They tried to call back but I ignored the call. They had no choice but to give up bc there was no way to track me. They never called back, presumably because it was a drain on their time and resources.

Another time, a friend who I confided in about my plans to go called the cops on me. The friend had my current address and provided it to them. When they showed up, I was calm in my attitude and denied having any ideation. They did not check my room for any supplies, said I seemed fine, and left. In my jurisdiction, if a welfare check is done by a non-professional and the person denies any intent to hurt themselves or others, the cops have to leave. So they did.

Takeaways:
- Don’t ever confide in anyone in your real life about your desire to die.
- In the U.S., a welfare check is handled differently depending on who calls the cops. If it is a civilian, you can talk your way out with the cops if you act calm and deny. If it’s a professional (a hotline, a psychiatrist, or a therapist), you can be taken involuntarily. In this case you should deny any ideation; ideation alone is enough to detain you. Still, your word might still mean less than the “professional opinion.” Be calm.
- The cops can generally ping your location using your mobile/cell phone. If you decide to talk with another person online about your plans, this is a risk to keep in mind. This is why encrypted apps are generally safer when talking to others because your details are anonymous.
- If you call a suicide hotline, you must understand the risk that any amateur counselor can freak out and call the cops on you.
- My stories happened in a city. If you live in a small town, the cops may have less to do and could be more dogged in finding you.

Please feel free to correct/add anything on this topic. I might be wrong about some things.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 1496

Student
Aug 2, 2018
183
thanks for all the info. i definitely don’t want to be held. I’m not insane, I’m suicidal for a reason. not sure what they think 72 hours will change that years of therapy and life haven’t.

i also learned the hard way not to open up:
  • i slightly opened up to a friend who had been in a psych ward and she agreed not to tell our mutual friend. but before i could even finish watching a movie, our mutual friend knew. given her psych ward experience, i thought my friend was safe to tell. then i realized she had decided on her own to voluntarily admit herself to her private hospital, which is way different than cops bringing you in for an involuntary hold at the county ward. i never talked to that friend again.
  • i began talking about ideation with my therapist, who immediately warned me that if i kept talking, he was going to call the cops. so naturally, like any non-suicidal person would, i stopped talking to avoid being held against my will. at that time, i had no plans, no method, etc. hopefully, not all therapists are that reactionary. it’s supposed to be talk therapy, but his actions made me go silent.
 
M

Morning Angel

Useless Broken Wings
Aug 8, 2018
619
thanks for all the info. i definitely don’t want to be held. I’m not insane, I’m suicidal for a reason. not sure what they think 72 hours will change that years of therapy and life haven’t.

i also learned the hard way not to open up:
  • i slightly opened up to a friend who had been in a psych ward and she agreed not to tell our mutual friend. but before i could even finish watching a movie, our mutual friend knew. given her psych ward experience, i thought my friend was safe to tell. then i realized she had decided on her own to voluntarily admit herself to her private hospital, which is way different than cops bringing you in for an involuntary hold at the county ward. i never talked to that friend again.
  • i began talking about ideation with my therapist, who immediately warned me that if i kept talking, he was going to call the cops. so naturally, like any non-suicidal person would, i stopped talking to avoid being held against my will. at that time, i had no plans, no method, etc. hopefully, not all therapists are that reactionary. it’s supposed to be talk therapy, but his actions made me go silent.
It always sucks when friends turn on you re: suicide. I am so sorry. Also yeah, therapists care about keeping their license at the end of the day. They don’t want to be blamed later - I kind of get that but the entire point of therapy is to build a safe, supportive space you can’t get anywhere else.
 
C

creatureoflight

Mage
Jul 27, 2018
531
I’ve learned a lot about how involuntary holds and welfare checks work. I’ve narrowly missed many psychiatric holds by evading the cops and knowing what to say. I’m going to tell you a couple of these stories and offer advice (at least to other Americans on SS).

One time, I called a hotline and stupidly disclosed that I was imminently at risk for suicide. The counselor said some platitude to me and said goodbye, and immediately contacted police. Because the cops look you up by your last known address (using your phone number), they missed me because I’d just recently moved. So they called my cell directly (listed as “unknown” when they called). They told me that they’d been notified that I was suicidal by the hotline and they needed to talk to me. I denied the story, saying I’d never ever discussed the idea of suicide with the hotline. The cop tried to coax me into giving him my location “just to talk.” I said I needed to go and could he please call me back. They tried to call back but I ignored the call. They had no choice but to give up bc there was no way to track me. They never called back, presumably because it was a drain on their time and resources.

Another time, a friend who I confided in about my plans to go called the cops on me. The friend had my current address and provided it to them. When they showed up, I was calm in my attitude and denied having any ideation. They did not check my room for any supplies, said I seemed fine, and left. In my jurisdiction, if a welfare check is done by a non-professional and the person denies any intent to hurt themselves or others, the cops have to leave. So they did.

Takeaways:
- Don’t ever confide in anyone in your real life about your desire to die.
- In the U.S., a welfare check is handled differently depending on who calls the cops. If it is a civilian, you can talk your way out with the cops if you act calm and deny. If it’s a professional (a hotline, a psychiatrist, or a therapist), you can be taken involuntarily. In this case you should deny any ideation; ideation alone is enough to detain you. Still, your word might still mean less than the “professional opinion.” Be calm.
- The cops can generally ping your location using your mobile/cell phone. If you decide to talk with another person online about your plans, this is a risk to keep in mind. This is why encrypted apps are generally safer when talking to others because your details are anonymous.
- If you call a suicide hotline, you must understand the risk that any amateur counselor can freak out and call the cops on you.
- My stories happened in a city. If you live in a small town, the cops may have less to do and could be more dogged in finding you.

Please feel free to correct/add anything on this topic. I might be wrong about some things.

Stories like that are the reason I don't want to talk about with anyone. I'm not actively planning on killing myself anytime soon, but would like to have it as a option. But I can't tell anyone because they would immediately contact the police and take me in anyway and the psych ward would do me a lot of harm and no good. I'm stable and don't want to go in there with the people who have psychotic episodes, untreated schizophrenia or the like.