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AppalachianBookDust

My Mental Health Care Story

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So. Here's my horrid mental health care system story. Community mental health care centers were supposed to be THE answer, yeah? Serve those in need, yadda yadda....well, no. They serve THOSE who qualify according to income....I have an effing MAJOR MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS AS MY QUALIFYING DISABILITY, have been fairly in crisis lo these past three years, yet I can get NO HELP from the vaunted mental help services offered by the those who were set up to serve just the population in which I fit. Why? B/c I lack MEDICAID. So they turn me away. I literally have too MUCH income for them. Never mind I've been struggling with acute suicidal ideation. Never mind that I've been struggling with onmipresent political depression and anxiety. Never mind that I can't find a therapist. What do I do, wait until I have a psychotic break from the stress of it all, a bad med interaction, combo of the two, or decide EFF THIS, I've had it, and try somehow to kill myself? That seems to be their message. You get in severe shape, THEN we'll see about using some resources to help....but only to transfer you to some facility in a DIFFERENT PLACE. That's all. Clear I'm not "in their catchment."  My life healthcare-wise is lived in this gray zone. I make just enough to knock me out of qualifying for any aid. But not enough to let me pay for anything. So I'm pretty much screwed.

 

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1 hour ago, AppalachianBookDust said:

So. Here's my horrid mental health care system story. Community mental health care centers were supposed to be THE answer, yeah? Serve those in need, yadda yadda....well, no. They serve THOSE who qualify according to income....I have an effing MAJOR MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS AS MY QUALIFYING DISABILITY, have been fairly in crisis lo these past three years, yet I can get NO HELP from the vaunted mental help services offered by the those who were set up to serve just the population in which I fit. Why? B/c I lack MEDICAID. So they turn me away. I literally have too MUCH income for them. Never mind I've been struggling with acute suicidal ideation. Never mind that I've been struggling with onmipresent political depression and anxiety. Never mind that I can't find a therapist. What do I do, wait until I have a psychotic break from the stress of it all, a bad med interaction, combo of the two, or decide EFF THIS, I've had it, and try somehow to kill myself? That seems to be their message. You get in severe shape, THEN we'll see about using some resources to help....but only to transfer you to some facility in a DIFFERENT PLACE. That's all. Clear I'm not "in their catchment."  My life healthcare-wise is lived in this gray zone. I make just enough to knock me out of qualifying for any aid. But not enough to let me pay for anything. So I'm pretty much screwed.

That has not been my experience with the community mental health system at all. I wonder why you are having such a bad experience with them. That’s awful.

I first got into the “system” when I was in my early twenties and not even on Medicaid or Medicare yet because of a serious almost deadly suicide attempt and they shuffled me off to a state hospital long term.

Then I transitioned to a crisis team of case managers and pdoc and nurses for years in the community mental health system. I had meds delivered daily so they could watch me take them as part of my ATO (basically I did this or I’d be sent back to the state hospital, under court order). Now I get a week’s supply of meds at a time that I pick up.

I got on SSDI and then I was transitioned to the main clinic and now had Medicare but I’m married and my husband makes a middle class ish salary. We couldn’t afford services on our own and have a payment plan set up with the community mental health clinic. My gigantic bill keeps growing but we pay a little each month and will never repay the gigantic total amount. $$$,$$$ bill and we pay $$ a month. It’s gigantic because mostly of the daily meds and mostly all the lengthy state hospital stays.

Something I am angry about though is they cancelled individual therapy for those with MI only. And got rid of all the group therapy/day treatment programs I found helpful. Those with addictions or dual diagnosis continue to receive all of those services I mentioned. It had to do with funding. Addiction is a huge problem here and a much discussed topic. I was very sad to lose my wonderful tdoc. I now am seeing one outside of the community clinic because there are no other options. It’s expensive and she is not helpful to me really. We are on a payment plan there too. We will always be in debt I guess.

I wonder if there is anyway you could get into the community mental health clinic. I’m not gonna lie. It’s shitty. I was stuck with a shitty pdoc for years and I had a shitty one before that (who ended up killing himself). And they really don’t let you have a choice of pdocs or anything like that. You take what you get. I was miserable and lost years and years and years of my life because I didn’t receive proper treatment and had shit for case managers and shit for pdocs and tdocs. It really ruined me. Now I have a good team but how long will that last? And I am stuck there because we can’t afford to go elsewhere while paying off the gigantic bill we owe the community mental health system. I’d love to have choices in health care. I could hardly find a tdoc outside of the clinic that would accept me as a patient with my DX. Fuck that.

 

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@AppalachianBookDust, are there any teaching hospitals in your area?.....Many teaching hospitals will provide care to those who aren't insured.....The income requirements to get services from such a hospital usually allow somewhat more income than Medicaid does........I received mental health services from such a hospital for 5 years, before I got insurance.

Just maybe something you could check into....I'm sorry you are having such a tough time with this.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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On 2/1/2020 at 6:20 PM, CrazyRedhead said:

@AppalachianBookDust, are there any teaching hospitals in your area?.....Many teaching hospitals will provide care to those who aren't insured.....The income requirements to get services from such a hospital usually allow somewhat more income than Medicaid does........I received mental health services from such a hospital for 5 years, before I got insurance.

Just maybe something you could check into....I'm sorry you are having such a tough time with this.

Not an option, unfortunately. Transit is a BIG issue where I live. There is limited bus service...but it can't cross county lines, let alone STATE lines. Unless you have Medicaid, which does provide medical transit. The public transit which I use does provide some medical transit but it has age and income limits which I currently meet. (I keep telling the supervisor that they are one ADA lawsuit waiting to happen on this. He laughs....nervously.) 

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I went to a community MH clinic for some years... I was working full-time but had no health insurance. I received a lot of help through them... access to doctors, therapy, case managers, and they had their own pharmacy too so I got my meds for cheap/free. They also had their own in-patient clinic that I stayed at a couple times and it was all free...

Are you on disability or? If so, you should have health insurance or qualify for it I would think...

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On 2/1/2020 at 9:49 AM, AppalachianBookDust said:

 I have an effing MAJOR MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS AS MY QUALIFYING DISABILITY, have been fairly in crisis lo these past three years, yet I can get NO HELP from the vaunted mental help services offered by the those who were set up to serve just the population in which I fit. Why? B/c I lack MEDICAID. 

Something I forgot to ask...Are you on disability for your mental health diagnosis?.....People who are on disability automatically qualify for either Medicare or Medicaid.

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