Thursday, April 19, 2007

$kewe(re)d Prioritie$

OK. I thought about posting this bit then backed off for lack of focus.

But just a few minutes ago I finally, after 2 fulls days, got a call back from the Psychiatrist I was hoping to see.

"The doctor will be able to see you in 6 to 8 weeks for an initial consultation.. "

My reply? "HA! I don't think so." *click*


This SeattlePI story directly concerns University mental health services in Washington state, but it's my experience that the locale is fairly irrelevant.

Gee, I wonder where the funds to make this stuff readily available to those who need it are hiding?
Counseling centers reach out to college students
Early intervention can help head off crisis


By CHRISTINE FREY
P-I REPORTER

A Seattle Pacific University official e-mailed the campus counseling center this week about a student whose depression was made worse by the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech.

Steven Maybell, the center's director, intended to make sure that the student was seen that day. "That's good," he said.

SPU is setting priorities for cases related to this week's shooting, which may have affected students' sense of safety or triggered concerns about some event from their past. But the counseling center, like most, is already a busy place.

In recent years, local universities have seen a spike in the number of students seeking counseling or medication for such mental-health problems as depression. They've been struggling to meet the growing demand, with students sometimes having to wait days for an appointment or seek help off campus.

The shooter in Monday's mass killings in Virginia reportedly had a history of depression and other mental-health problems. Although improved access to mental health services wouldn't guarantee an end to such events, it would minimize the risk, Maybell said.

"This is, to me, the extreme consequence of that situation," he said of the shootings.

[No Waiting . . . ]

While I can certainly - and UNEQUIVOCALLY :-) - assure y'all I ain't no such kinda threat what-so-ever, no matter how maudlin I may sometimes be, that last line is precisely the kind of evidence of neglect the Joneses of our society, you know, the ones we're all supposed to be keepin' up with, have got to hold to their own hearts and consciences.

Where lack of awareness of a need is no longer a viable excuse for not meeting it, culpability for horrifying consequences belongs to all who allow those needs to remain unmet.

In the past we lacked knowledge, so throwin' money at health issues of any type was truly less than rational. Today, though we've certainly far more to learn about mental health issues in particular, there is no such excuse for not funding such programs adequately.

If nothing else, mayhaps the incredibly insane acts of Mr Cho will finally get PEOPLE motivated to pressure our "leaders" into straightenin' out their fiscal priorities.

I ain't really countin' on it right yet though . . .

4 comments:

  1. Not just a funding issue, here. What I keep hearing is what we often hear in situations where a dozen different people knew something but didn't -- or say they couldn't -- do anything: confidentiality restrictions. These restrictions evidently even prevented the University from sharing information with Cho's parents or other University officials about what transpired while he was hospitalized.

    How stupid.

    Initially, I think the Confidentiality Craze had good intentions, mostly, I suspect, to reduce stigma associated with the treatment of a behavioral health or mental health condition. But it looks like it's time to find better ways to handle that.

    I am glad you're workin' on yer stuff, and do hope you get the help you want and need.

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  2. It is amazing how little we do to keep our population healthy. You'd think that a healthy citizenry would be a benefit to a country.

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  3. "The doctor will be able to see you in 6 to 8 weeks for an initial consultation.. "

    Then you'll get about 10 minutes of time to talk while they scribble before you get a "real" appointment.

    I hear you! That kind of thing just doesn't get the job done. I've got a horror story or two about health care, including mental health care... the state of the situation is piss poor. It's pathetic.

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  4. Dig the "confidentiality" angle, MM. Problem goes back to Mgt not understand what they need their IT staffs to be doing on that one. Really. All they need is a Software system that integrates all our data and requires user permissions for access.

    Course, they'll often screw up and give the wrong access to the wrong people so... Management once again sucks. Must all have MBAs instead of the brains to actually do anything with 'em...

    "You'd think" is right Mary! Oh, wait a sec.. People who can think can realize that they don't need HALF the shit they're tryin' to sell us.

    Then where'd we be?

    {shakin'head}(a lot lately, eh...)

    I read your Duncan's Passing post(s), Blueberry, as well as the others 'bout your experiences... I think I couldn't let m'self comment cuz I just get so.. fed.. up.. with these people that I know I can get a little incoherent with my reactions.

    All that's one of the reasons that Dagmar Celeste was one of my heroes. She really pushed her hubby to bolster Ohio's Mental Health services whilst he was our Governor. G Voinovich didn't do too bad for his part, and the dunce we had last (Taft) didn't exactly dismatle the system, but he sure didn't keep it moving in the right direction either.

    BLECH!

    Bottom line: Mental Health services should be the ABSOLUTE EASIEST care to get. It should be made for small children to be able to get help, with A LOT of hand-holding, but instead it requires even MORE HOOPS through which to jump than the standard, pathetically inadequate system.

    Again I say BLECH!

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