What can I do in an emergency situation if I think I am not getting the help my child needs?

You must trust your judgment that the care your child is receiving is required to keep him or her safe, and may reduce the possibility of future harm.

When you disagree with those who work with your child:

If you believe that in spite of what you are being told by a professional such as a therapist, counselor, doctor, nurse or psychiatrist that your child is at risk and needs an emergency evaluation, you should and can request one. Call the Riverside Emergency Crisis Line (781) 769 8674 or (800) 529 5077 for information about having an evaluation, or bring your child to an emergency room. If your child refuses to go, you can tell the police your concerns and ask them to transport your child to an emergency room. Never leave an emergency evaluation until you have worked out a plan that you believe will keep your child safe.

When you talk with the emergency responder, be honest about your disagreement with the professionals, but clear about your concerns. If you strongly believe your child is not safe, and should be treated in a hospital, ask for reconsideration of the plan.  If this does not produce a result that adequately addresses your concerns, you have the right to ask for a second opinion from a different evaluator, even if this means prolonging the evaluation.

If you do not feel that you can keep your child safe (whether or not a second evaluation has been conducted), refuse to take him/her home. If your child needs to be in a hospital to remain safe the emergency service provider is required to keep looking for a bed until one is found. The Emergency Room staff are required to monitor your child's safety until appropriate accommodations can be made.

If I am sure that my child is not at immediate risk, what can I do to get help?

While your child may not be at immediate risk, his/her behavior, mood, social relationships, or school functioning may indicate signs of emotional distress or substance abuse. Let your child know about your concerns and that you will be getting professional help from someone with whom you both will feel comfortable. In addition to seeking help from the sources listed below, it may also be helpful for parents to talk over their concerns with a trusted medical provider, school staff, pastoral representative, or friend for support.


Hurting yourself is NEVER the answer. There is help available…talk to someone now

For immediate help call

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)