Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mental health access

EDITOR: I echo Lois Henry’s (Californian columnist lhenry@bakersfield.com) comments wholeheartedly: ”It’s great that everyone wants to talk about mental illness now, in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

The mantra is to get mental illness out in the open, remove the stigma and deal with it for what it is, a health issue. The state of California is even launching a social media ad campaign urging families to seek services early.

That’s all good and I applaud those efforts.

But it is not nearly enough. We need large, bold, practical changes.

That includes making insurance cover mental illness as a real health issue and not in the dribs and drabs it currently does. And it includes making sure people really can access the services that agencies claim are available, rather than creating insurmountable barriers because of the costs

Some of that would need to be done at the federal level.

But there’s work that can and must be done locally with help from state officials. Our Board of Supervisors must do a top-to-bottom review of what services are available locally and how they are, and aren’t, made available to families.

I’m hoping someone on the new board steps up to the challenge and listens to families dealing with mental illness.”

JOHN BACHMAN
Placerville

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Discussion | 3 comments

  • Carlos SanchezJanuary 28, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    Agree there is so much more that needs to be done.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CatherineJanuary 29, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    Mental Health Parity does what you say (you can Google it). Additionally, the BOS should enact Laura's Law, and fund it with the Prevention and Early Intervention part of the MHSA money. Instead, the State has used money from that services fund for PSAs, art and garden projects, and a host of pseudo-psychological 'prevention' methods, often focused on depression, which is always vague enough to get funding. The MHSA/Prop 63 money was specifically intended for Serious Mental Illness, which means psychosis spectrum disorders--medically ill people, not the worried well. The $7+ Billion collected in the MHSA tax should have been used for hospital beds and recuperative facilities. It's a question of prioritization and transparency, plus lack of scientific oversight, that has muddled the works and wasted your money. Unfortunately, it has also left the most ill people without care.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynFebruary 12, 2013 - 7:40 am

    Are you a psychopath? Take THIS fun fast test and find out. (I'm not telling you MY score!)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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