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What to Bring to a Hospital, Emergency Room, or Crisis Program

By Jerome Levine, Irene S. Levine

Part of Schizophrenia For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Part of living with someone who has schizophrenia means being prepared for emergencies. If a crisis occurs involving your loved one with schizophrenia, make sure you have the following items and information on hand to take to an emergency facility:

  • A photo ID with your loved one’s name and place of residence.

  • Your loved one’s Social Security card or Social Security number.

  • Your loved one’s Medicaid or Medicare card, and/or other proof of health insurance coverage.

  • A brown bag with your loved one’s medication vials or a list of all the medications (psychiatric and other) she takes, including names and dosages.

  • A list of any adverse side effects to medication your loved one has experienced in the past.

  • Information about known allergies or physical health problems.

  • Names and contact information for your loved one’s psychiatrist, case manager, and any other clinicians or programs involved in his outpatient care.

  • The names and phone numbers of any friends or relatives your loved one would want contacted.

  • A letter signed by your loved one providing permission for clinical staff to discuss his care with family or friends he designates. (The hospital may have a form available for this purpose.)

Make sure your loved one doesn’t bring any valuables (cash, jewelry, and so on); some hospitals will allow him to keep his cellphone. Also, make sure he doesn’t bring any knives, belts, or other things that might be considered dangerous and be taken away.