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21 Mentally ill and pregnant. What to do?

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posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:33 AM
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No not me, but 2 young women whom I have been working with at a drop in centre for young vulnerable homeless people in my town.

So for the last 2 months I have been volunteering at a drop in centre in my town. Having lived a pretty sheltered life, the stories I am coming face to face with are a little shocking. One of the less shocking but more troubling is the girl's who have recently discovered they are pregnant. When one of them told me yesterday, with a big smile on her face, I found it difficult to congratulate her, knowing the potential outcome.

Both have mental health issues and have no support from parent's or the partner's who are 50% responsible for the pregnancy. Now these girl's have trouble looking after themselves, in and out of different hostels and homes what seems to be like on a weekly basis. Both girl's are excited about having a baby and have been talking about how their kids will grow up together.

So what should be done? I imagine social services will take their babies away, these kids will either be fostered or go to children's homes. However if the babies stay with their mother's, what type of life can they expect, will the mother's be able to cope with the fulltime job that is raising a baby?

So, should the state step in or should these women be able to have their babies and see what happens?

I would be interested to hear the views of ATSers
edit on 16-2-2011 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:40 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Sounds like business as usual 21, mentally ill and pregnant.
Nothing new here as all people are mentally ill acording to someones definition.
The only thing i find shocking of your thread title is that young women nowadays would wait so long to have a baby, according to stats they are 5 - 6 years behind schedule.

(edit)
Ok so i read the post, are you saying you have tried these young ladies in your own mind and have already pronounced them guilty of future crimes they may not commit?
Why should the state step in and take their children, what have they done?
edit on 16-2-2011 by g146541 because: Further information



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:42 AM
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Just another typical day in the US of A.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:45 AM
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Originally posted by g146541
reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Sounds like business as usual 21, mentally ill and pregnant.
Nothing new here as all people are mentally ill acording to someones definition.
The only thing i find shocking of your thread title is that young women nowadays would wait so long to have a baby, according to stats they are 5 - 6 years behind schedule.


So you've not really answered the question, just provided a tiny silver lining that this hasn't happened to them sooner. What should happen to the babies?



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:46 AM
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Before I could really give my opinion, I'd need to know more about both of their mental illnesses.

Abortion sounds out of the question, considering that they both seem like they feel they're ready for a child.

I have seen some very wild girls in my town turn their lives around once they became pregnant. But everybody is different, and I wouldn't make a generalization on a child's well being.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:47 AM
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Originally posted by BeenieWeenie
Just another typical day in the US of A.


This is in a drop in centre in a town in the UK. Not a very big town , but big enough to have many social problems that dont really come up on the average middle class radar (like mine).



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by ThinkingCap
Before I could really give my opinion, I'd need to know more about both of their mental illnesses.

Abortion sounds out of the question, considering that they both seem like they feel they're ready for a child.

I have seen some very wild girls in my town turn their lives around once they became pregnant. But everybody is different, and I wouldn't make a generalization on a child's well being.



I'm no expert on mental illness, I'm just a volunteer, but I have had to stop one of the girls continuously banging her head against a brick wall when she got upset. remember this girl has no partner, no support from parents and no stable housing.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 03:54 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Ok for an answer, no a person should not be held guilty of soething that has yet to happen, that is a silly idea for the narrow minded.
Now if you will return the favor and answer my questions?
If not you will have proven your position as backward thinking.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:00 AM
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If she is keeping this baby, and abortion is out of the question, then as a volunteer you should feel obligated to try to find her the following:


Get her on social services, help her apply for more government aide, SSI, food stamps.

Find out if she has any skills whatsoever, look in the paper for a job that doesn't require her sanity or interactions with brick walls.

Try to get to know her better, enough to know if she is continuing to do drugs or drink alcohol. If she is, then warn her of the consequences. If you're not convinced she is willing to at least be responsible for the development of a child, then do what you need to do as far as the legalities you speak of. As a volunteer as well as someone who tried to help her, your word should count for something in a situation like this.





posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:00 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


First off, you're not a psychologist; you don't get to determine if someone is "mentally ill" or not. Second... fact is, pretty much no one is prepared to bear the work load that comes with a child. No one. Superparent is fiction, every new parent gets very surprised.

They want the babies. It's up to them. If you feel the need, yeah, offer to look into services open to them. if they say no, they say no.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:01 AM
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reply to post by g146541
 


I'm just concerned that these girl's will not be able to cope with having the demands of having a child on top of the demands that they all ready have, no support, mentally ill and homeless. A child born into this environment is certainly at risk.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:02 AM
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And if you can't do the above - find someone who can.


2nd



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


There is not a lot that you can do really. I imagine that as a result of being pregnant, they will both have access to health services, who will probably know quite a bit about their backgrounds, and as such, hopefully they will get the support they need from all of the relevant providers.

I know that there have been some horror stories regarding young women who have their babies removed at birth for no good reason (and some for very good reasons!) and how that tied in with the government's adoption targets. However, it seems that those days of full state control are coming to an end, so it is more likely that the women will receive the support they need to live independently, which, of course, is the preferrable option.

Although social housing is now in short supply, as these women both have mental health issues, then they are more likely to meet the requirements to move to the top of the list more quickly, or at least find more stable private rented accommodation, where rent etc is paid directly to the landlord, thus reducing the chance of defaulting on rent and being evicted.

Sometimes a life changing event, like having a baby can in fact act as a catalyst to someone who would otherwise lead a chaotic life, and I suppose it can only be hoped that this will be the case for these young women, who with the right type of support may be able to turn their lives around.

But back to what you can do, firstly ensure that they are indeed registered with a GP and maternity services, and hopefully that will lead to the rest of the support that they need.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by ThinkingCap
If she is keeping this baby, and abortion is out of the question, then as a volunteer you should feel obligated to try to find her the following:


Get her on social services, help her apply for more government aide, SSI, food stamps.

Find out if she has any skills whatsoever, look in the paper for a job that doesn't require her sanity or interactions with brick walls.

Try to get to know her better, enough to know if she is continuing to do drugs or drink alcohol. If she is, then warn her of the consequences. If you're not convinced she is willing to at least be responsible for the development of a child, then do what you need to do as far as the legalities you speak of. As a volunteer as well as someone who tried to help her, your word should count for something in a situation like this.




This is basically what the drop in centre is designed to do. Find work and acomodation for young vulnerable adults. We have managed to get one of the girls, the right benefits, so she does not actually need to work at the moment. I guess it's the lack of family support and the support of a partner alongside the mental health issues that concerns me.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:10 AM
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Sterilizing people with low IQ's may not be such a bad thing after all. It's sad how.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by destination now
reply to post by woodwardjnr
 




But back to what you can do, firstly ensure that they are indeed registered with a GP and maternity services, and hopefully that will lead to the rest of the support that they need.



Yeah we have done all these things, everything really is in place. I guess my point is about at what point if any should the state step in? But thanks for your post.



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Serizawa
 


So long as we set the minimum IQ one point higher than yours, I'm all for it.




posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


Being concerned is a noble pursuit, and you are commended.
But,... a momma bear is homless and jobless of sorts and she can take care of her cubs.
Secondly, attempt to take my cubs and you bit off more than anyone can chew, and i'm not a momma.
If you ever need to see rage, mess with a mommas babies, maternal instinct is a magical thing truly.
Huey Lewis said it best,
And i quote:

The power of love is a curious thing make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a hawk to a little white dove more than a feeling that's the power of love
Tougher than diamonds, rich like creamStronger and harder than a bad girl's dream
make a bad one good make a wrong one righ tpower of love that keeps you home at night
You don't need money, don't take fame Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimesbut it might just save your life
That's the power of love That's the power of love
First time you feel it, it might make you sad Next time you feel it it might make you mad
But you'll be glad baby when you've found that's the power makes the world go'round

The song really did say alot, a popstar prophet imho



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


As you may be aware, the first few months of a baby's life is a constant round of health visitors, clinic appointments, home visits etc, so if there are any major problems then hopefully the professionals will pick these up. Some problems can be solved with a bit of advice and education, some others, if for example the professionals believe the baby may be at risk, are not so easily resolved and if, in the longer term it looks like these problems may escalate, then that would be the point that the state should step in. Hopefully though these young women will go on to be excellent mothers, and making a few minor mistakes in the beginning should not go against them, after all, parenting is the hardest thing you'll do in your life and the one thing that doesn't come with a set of instructions...



posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 04:21 AM
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This is so sad and is a problem in every country of the world. In my opinion the best outcome would be that both mothers and babies get adopted into caring foster families for the care and love that they require.

Some close friends of mine are "serial parents" who foster babies from out of all sorts of sad situations, I don't know how they do it as they don't get much assistance and the children often have problems like foetal alcohol syndrome which makes care harder to do.

But the children are loved and cared for,

I just hope that somewhere out there are people who's hearts are big enough to accept these girls and their babies.
edit on 16/2/2011 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)

edit on 16/2/2011 by chr0naut because: Typos R us

edit on 16/2/2011 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)




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