Child Abuse and Mental Health Survivors Information - Issue #86
Falling Through the Cracks - How Many Can't Get Mental Health Care?
The first two links in this week’s newsletter are about the lack of mental healthcare. Reading through the linked articles will lead you down a rabbit hole where you’ll read about how insurance coverage for mental healthcare is not nearly sufficient, how the requirement for mental health parity is frequently ignored, how the lack of qualified therapists creates a situation where new therapists seeing patients “provisionally” in order to fill the need aren’t covered and thus their patients have to choose between therapy and rent, and how the lack of care for serious mental illness contributes to homelessness. Further down there’s another link about how even if you have insurance, the therapists on their network list might either not exist or aren’t taking new patients.
There are many of us who encourage people to seek out help for their mental health issues. Some of us also use our voices to advocate for more resources. Both of those are important. Still, I feel like too many people see someone who is struggling and blame them for not getting help without ever understanding how difficult it is to find help.
Imagine struggling with depression, feeling worthless and barely able to function through the day. When you finally hear it often enough and gather your strength you make the effort to seek out help. You look up your insurance coverage and realize that the most they will do for you is 6 therapy sessions. That hardly seems like it will help, but you decide to try it anyway. Maybe some combination of medication, those sessions, and some homework will at least help. You start going through their list of providers and are met with wrong numbers, therapists no longer practicing, unreturned calls and a waitlist of 3-6 months. Maybe you somehow have enough resilience to look for other options, community services, Medicaid coverage, etc. only to find that those don’t exist where you live or you don’t qualify for coverage.
Then, through some miracle of strength on your part, you finally get to see a therapist and realize that the only way to continue is to choose between paying for care or living in your own apartment.
It’s a wonder anyone gets help. Those of us who were able to get help were extremely lucky. We live a life with enough privilege to be able to get help when we need it, but there are millions of people in the US, billions around the world, who do not.
We have to ask ourselves if that is the world we want. A world where we could help millions of people with their mental health, but we choose not to.
New From the Blogs
Headlines that Show Us How Bad our Mental Health Systems Are
Both articles tell the stories of people who can't get the mental healthcare they need, and both dig into some of the political decisions that have caused this. Both also demonstrate how complicated the issue is and how much damage is being done behind the scenes by some of the same leaders who claim to support mental health.
Andrew Toles and the LA Dodgers Are Another Case Where This Shouldn't be What is Necessary
That's the question we need to ask ourselves. Great, the Dodgers are keeping him under "contract" so he has medical coverage that helps him as an individual. What happens to everyone else in the same boat? Who's getting them treatment and the coverage to pay for it?
Sharing - When the world stops
We all need people who will stop and be with us. I've been lucky enough to have that, and I've had the privilege to be there for others during difficult times. I have also probably missed many an opportunity to stop and be with someone because of the hectic pace of life, and I'm not proud of that.
Shared From Elsewhere
More on the topic -
Last week we talked about connection and friendship, a couple of more links on that subject:
Experts say loneliness isn't just a social problem — it's bad for your health, too
Beyond Self-Care: The Importance of Social Connection in Mental Wellness
The truth of where you are now
"One true thing helps you heal from trauma in small, manageable increments."
Why Children Don’t Tell Anyone About Sexual Abuse - Ask any survivor and they’ll give you the reasons they didn’t tell. Many of them will look similar and this article will help you understand them.
Unresolved childhood trauma impacts the child immediately however, it may continue to impact them throughout their lives. In certain situations, where childhood trauma is not effectively resolved, the child may become stuck at a certain level of maturity, and not be able to move on beyond it – ever.
From the Archives
When Self-Care Becomes Selfish Care
Here’s a quick example. Right now, plenty of people I know are dealing with a terrible health issue, or grieving the loss of a loved one. I would be willing to bet most of them are not exactly invigorating the lives of many of their friends and coworkers. They are probably a drain on them in many respects. If we make a list today, which side would they be on? Should we move on and cut ties with them, right when they need love and support the most?
Thanks for the Memories – Good and Bad
To put it bluntly, while I don’t regret the healing that has taken place in my life and where I am now, I have to also acknowledge that getting here was messy. I’m not the same person I was in this photo. None of us are the same people we were back then, but for survivors there is a particular challenge that comes with healing. You have to be willing to change, and if I know anything about change, I know it, too, can be messy. Change requires us to leave behind things that are not good for us, which just so happen to be the things we’ve gotten quite comfortable with.
What I do recall from that day though, was that I didn’t have to have all the answers. I needed to do two things, make it through that day and go see a therapist. Then, I had to make it through the next day, go to work, be careful of my mental health, and keep doing that, until the next therapist appointment, and on and on just like that. One day, one thing, at a time.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy your weekend, and apparently it’ll be May when the next week starts. Yeah, I don’t know how we got to May already either.