Lincolnton mom fears adult daughter will harm herself, says she can’t find help

Girl turned away from local hospital

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A mom desperate to get help for her daughter. Caroline Walker says her daughter is suicidal and finding the right care has been hard. Part of that is because her daughter is over 18-years-old, a legal adult.

“I don’t ever want to know the loss of a child. The rule is your children out live you,” said Walker.

Walker says she’s scared her 19-year-old will do terrible things to herself that would end her life.

“She stated when the mass shooting happened that she should’ve been the one shot, not the other people,” Walker confessed.

Add to that things Caroline tells us she found in her daughter’s diary. They include drawings on how her daughter would carry out harmful actions – too gruesome to show on T.V.

“It’s frustrating because you’re afraid they’re going to succeed one day,”Walker confessed.

This all started when Walker’s daughter ran away from home and was found in the woods on Hardin Road in Dallas.

Police were able to find the 19-year-old and sent her to CaroMont Health in Gastonia for a mental evaluation involuntarily, but she says doctors allowed her child to go back home within a few hours.

“They don’t see that child we live with. That child that’s hiding in their room and doing harm to themselves and plotting in their diaries what they’re going to do next,”said Walker.

Legally, things get tricky for Walker because her daughter is an adult. It’s even taken a toll on her mental health.

“I have to see a psychiatrist. I have to be on medication for depression,” Walker said.

One mental health specialist at Partners in Gastonia says there are options for parents in these situations, like appointing themselves as the guardian for their child’s medical decisions.

“Or other legal decisions that an average 18-year-old is entitled to, but through the guardianship process she would be evaluated to be determined competent or non-competent,” said Partners Mental Health Specialist, Barbara Hallisey.

Hallisey also says a psychiatric advanced directive can also be used to make sure parents are in the loop when it comes to mental health care.

WBTV’s Bria Bell reached out CaroMont Health for a statement on the matter:

To protect the privacy of our patients and to comply with HIPAA, CaroMont Health does not provide information related to a patient's individual health or care.

We comply all with requirements set forth by the North Carolina Legislature’s requirements for involuntary commitment. All patients who present to our facilities with this order in place are evaluated, treated and released with appropriate care plans to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

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