Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
Kaiser made my journey more painfulPublished Tuesday, January 8, 2019
I am a 35-year-old mental health professional, and a long-time Kaiser member. In 2016, when I experienced my own mental health crisis, I found myself going to battle every time I tried to seek support from Kaiser. I have so many experiences I could share — from waiting an hour and a half to speak to someone after walking into the clinic and asking for a crisis appointment; to begging for some individual therapy, only to be farmed out to groups that weren’t helpful; to actually going to the hospital with suicidal ideation three times before I was finally hospitalized. I begged them for help in the emergency room, my wife begged them to help me keep myself safe, and they sent me home three times with more benzodiazepines. After two years of continuous self-advocacy, and support from my family and friends, I have climbed my way back to feeling healthy. Kaiser did not help me. They placed obstacle after obstacle, offered useless ideas, and said “sorry” countless times for the limitations of their psychiatric support. I would even say that Kaiser not only did not help me — they made my journey longer and more painful than it had to be.