Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
I would have taken my lifePublished Monday, April 1, 2019
I’m a patient at Kaiser’s Aliso Viejo Medical Center. My therapist has been a pivotal component of my health journey. Thanks to her services, I have experienced transformative changes in my mental health, including an increase in positivity, vitality and creativity in my life. However, the length of time between my appointments is long, and my heath has suffered as a result. For example, in November of 2018, I experienced bouts of suicidal ideation. I called a crisis hotline and took other emergency action, but was still unable to schedule an earlier appointment with my therapist. Had a chance cancellation by another patient not occurred, I would have taken my life during that period. When I saw my therapist, it was after weeks of compromised health, mental suffering, and risk of suicide. This experience reflects a disappointing level of accessibility at Kaiser Permanente, and a real need for improved access to mental health services and professionals.