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Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

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Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Relations with 16 year old son who lives with mum has always been distant even before separation 3 years ago. Smses and phone calls would be irregularly answered. I have kept my distance as well, out of respect and on the insistence of privacy from ex-wife. 

 

As relationship with ex-wife deteriorated a month ago, I have approached his school and found out that his school attendance has been getting worse this year. He was also attending mental health services and refused medication. Ex-wife have not mentioned this until recently and I am struggling to find out details. 

 

I am torn whether to request information formally with the hospital and the health service so I can understand the situation better. However, I am worried that it may destroy the minimal trust I have with them. I am very disappointed that his school and services have not reached out to me. I am worried that treatments may have been recommended but refused by ex-wife and that I could have do something now if I know more about it. 


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Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

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Hi @PeteNorthside, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have been on a difficult journey these last few years. It must be upsetting to know that you have been left in the dark so to speak. We hear your concern about preserving the relationship you have with your son - it shows how important your relationship with him is. Family relationships can be so difficult to navigate!

 

It seems like it is unclear as to why this information has not been passed on to you. It could be due to a number of reasons and unfortunately, we are not experts in these types of matters. It sounds like a very complex situation and may be highly dependant on the state that your son resides in. With your concern in mind, is it an option for you to chat with your son about what has been happening and if he would feel comfortable for you to access the information? This might give you the information you need to decide whether formally requesting the information is advisable. You could also reflect upon what options you are hoping will become available by accessing this information.

 

If you find yourself needing support during this stressful situation, there is a service called ParentLine which offers telephone counselling. It also has a number of referrals and resources that may be helpful for you.

 

Please keep us updated Heart

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Hi 

because you are his father and because you care and because you you don't seem to being informed as to your sons state of health/mind it might well be a very good idea to request that information . The more you know the more help and support you can provide.You say that the communication between yourself and your son is distant at best. So really you have not a lot to loose and possibly a lot to gain by better understanding his health and state of mind, does he even need to know that you know ? Excuse my ignorance here on that , I just assume as a dad you are entitled to know 

If he doesn't want to know you so be it. However if you can provide help and support your ex from behind the scene surely that's a good thing,

cheers Sidney's dad

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Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

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Hi @PeteNorthside, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have been on a difficult journey these last few years. It must be upsetting to know that you have been left in the dark so to speak. We hear your concern about preserving the relationship you have with your son - it shows how important your relationship with him is. Family relationships can be so difficult to navigate!

 

It seems like it is unclear as to why this information has not been passed on to you. It could be due to a number of reasons and unfortunately, we are not experts in these types of matters. It sounds like a very complex situation and may be highly dependant on the state that your son resides in. With your concern in mind, is it an option for you to chat with your son about what has been happening and if he would feel comfortable for you to access the information? This might give you the information you need to decide whether formally requesting the information is advisable. You could also reflect upon what options you are hoping will become available by accessing this information.

 

If you find yourself needing support during this stressful situation, there is a service called ParentLine which offers telephone counselling. It also has a number of referrals and resources that may be helpful for you.

 

Please keep us updated Heart

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Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons


@Taylor-RO wrote:

With your concern in mind, is it an option for you to chat with your son about what has been happening and if he would feel comfortable for you to access the information?

 

Thank you Taylor. That is a very helpful thought and consideration. Unfortunately communication has deteriorated and phone calls along with smses replies have grounded to a halt. Hence why my thought that formal records may be a useful way to investigate other ways to communicate more successful or to bring up services considered in the formal records. 

 

However, the formal records may only damage the relationship further. So something that needs to be reflected on more deeply. Much thanks. 

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Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Hey @PeteNorthside 

 

It must be so hard to have no communication with your son.

 

Yes, it's definitely a tricky situation to be in. You're right, Taylor did recommend some really good things to think about and reflect on to aid you in your decision making. I guess another question is that if you're son isn't talking to you, could you really do much with his medical information? Do you think he'd be more likely to listen to your advice and get the right support (if it's needed), or to be upset that you accessed his medical information?

 

I thought I'd tag some other parents here for you to see if they can offer you any advice or insights.

 

@JAKGR8 @compassion @sidneysdad @sunflowermom @Faob_1 @FamilyPro @PapaBill 

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would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

>Do you think he'd be more likely to listen to your advice and get the right support (if it's needed), or to be upset that you accessed his medical information?

 

I think the medical information would be helpful in helping me support my ex who lives with him. At least if I am aware of the medical issues, I might be able to more successfully be another point of contact and reduce the communication burden on her. I could also better introduce myself to the services rather than to contact the services without requested records possibly. 

 

I am also keen to explore private providers and services if I knew what was recommended before as well, which may be helpful for my ex as well. 

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Hi 

because you are his father and because you care and because you you don't seem to being informed as to your sons state of health/mind it might well be a very good idea to request that information . The more you know the more help and support you can provide.You say that the communication between yourself and your son is distant at best. So really you have not a lot to loose and possibly a lot to gain by better understanding his health and state of mind, does he even need to know that you know ? Excuse my ignorance here on that , I just assume as a dad you are entitled to know 

If he doesn't want to know you so be it. However if you can provide help and support your ex from behind the scene surely that's a good thing,

cheers Sidney's dad

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Thanks Sidney's dad. 


I am keen to ask his school counsellor instead more about what she knows, instead of the mental health unit maybe. Whether she received any official paperwork that she might be able to share. Unfortunately, I am being blamed for all the mental health issues by ex-wife, mum, so it makes it hard to deal with it. 

 

Hopefully he will be back at school next week and things will get better. 

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Without wishing to assume anything I will relate more of my own situation. Yours might be the reverse of mine. When my ex walked out to start a new life with a work colleague it wasn't just me who was devastated. I recovered faster than my son. He had all sorts of problems , but my major concern was how much he rejected his mother. It has taken a long time with me constantly reassuring him he had done nothing wrong and wasn't being punished or forsaken by his mum . Rather that she wanted to make a new life for herself and we had to accept it. If your ex is angry and bitter about the breakup it will be very hard to get any relationship back with your son. If you are lucky and patient she might start to present you to your son in a way he can forgive whatever has occurred and take you back into his life. I don't wish to presume or assume anything about your circumstances just that sometimes things really are beyond our control. I was able to forgive and forget and my son is well on the way to doing the same , hopefully what ever happened to separate you from your son will one day be resolved , if not I hope you will be able to still prove to him your love and support as it would seem you care very much as to his well being 

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

 

 

@sidneysdad wrote:

If your ex is angry and bitter about the breakup it will be very hard to get any relationship back with your son.

 

Thanks Smiley Happy 

There is a strong feeling of not wanting to engage and to just wait until son grows up and want to reconnect then... 

 

 

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Re: would Re: Requesting medical and mental health records: pros and cons

Son is refusing to attend school once again.

 

No obvious plan excpet to beg and plead according to mum who lives with him. Mum struggles with discipline and does not know what to do when he is up all night. No consequences. When suggested that internet could be cut off after 9pm, mum feels that it would harm his mental health. But he refuses to see GP or anyone apparently. Refuses to chat on the phone to counselling services. 

 

So no replies to smses or phone calls. Tough times. The feeling of helplessness is awful and paralysing Smiley Sad