Family struggles to get inpatient care for teen in need of mental health care


With nowhere else to go, a mid-Michigan father took to social media from his vehicle, in a hospital parking lot to get help for his son.

“It’s very frustrating because he is my child, who I love, our child, who we love very much all my heart and he’s sitting in the ER and he doesn’t deserve that, this is not my son this is a behavior,” said Jo Ann Gross.

More than two weeks went by in the emergency room before Jay and Jo Ann Gross claim they could get their 15-year-old son the care he needed.

The couple says they arrived in the E.R. at mid-Michigan Medical Center – Gratiot for emergency mental health services after an incident with their son. 

They say the process to get him into a mental healthcare facility was nearly impossible.

“It’s a bunch of hurry up and wait, you call me say that they’re out of the office till next Wednesday and then you get brushed off on somebody else, and brushed off on somebody else,” Jo Ann said.

The family said they were calling inpatient facilities, working with their insurance company and Medicaid, only to keep going in circles, being told there was no room, or their insurance wouldn’t work there.

“You got to do what you got to do, and I took the most effective means that I know of throughout my life, and suddenly things happened,” Jay said.

At their wit’s end that’s when Jay ended up putting it all out on social media.

“We need some help and we don’t know where to turn,” Jay said.

A video that has been viewed over 75,000 times.

“The system of mental health is so broken,” he said.

TV5 did reach out to the hospital and a spokesperson said they are aware of the video but due to patient privacy laws, the hospital is unable to confirm or deny any information regarding this story.

Because of this video the family says they finally started to get the attention of lawmakers and found a facility that would help their son.

The Gross’ say they are now sharing their story because they think something needs to change. They believe mental health care for children should have a more streamlined process and they add that they are grateful for the community support.

“It boggles my mind. We’re not angry with anybody, the people that I’ve reached out have been amazing. It’s the system, we’re a little angry with the system, it’s broken,” Jay said.

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