Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
I left feeling completely let downPublished Tuesday, April 9, 2019
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I have also been a Kaiser member for more than 30 years. Earlier this year I was experiencing increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. My doctor recommended psychotherapy sessions, so I contacted the department to make an appointment. It took three weeks to get my first appointment with a therapist. After listening to me pour out my deepest distress, and being appropriately empathetic, the clinician told me that my next appointment could not occur until five weeks from that initial appointment. I was astonished! I inquired about the practice of long stretches between sessions when a client is in severe distress. I was told that this was the standard policy for Kaiser. I left feeling completely let down, and in a worse state of mind than when I had arrived. It seems almost abusive to me to ask a person to pour out their deepest pain, then send them off for five weeks to deal with these intense emotions on their own. I completely support the clinical staff of Kaiser in their efforts to accomplish changes in the Kaiser standard of mental health care.