Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
Caregiver is left waiting for own mental health appointmentPublished Sunday, August 7, 2022
My husband had an acute mental health issue arise in early 2020. Care has been sporadic. Psychiatrist sees him every 4-6 weeks and only by telehealth. He also saw a series of psychologists every 6+ weeks for over two years. Finally, with the help of a couples counselor – who saw him a total of six weeks and who strongly advocated for him – he has a weekly counselor for at least a year going forward. For the first year (with COVID in the mix) he had a series of “classes” for Mindfulness, CBT, Depression, with around 50 participants online. It was something, but not therapy. There continue to be technology glitches (not helpful for someone with high anxiety) and really no local resources for when in-person services become available. As the caregiver, when I finally requested a counselor for myself, I’ve been waiting six weeks for my first appointment. I don’t know if this will be time limited (6-8 weeks) or ongoing. My husband has recently started TMS treatments, thankfully covered by Kaiser, though not available locally, so he must travel there five days/week.