Video: Our solutions to Kaiser’s mental health crisis

NewsJuly 11, 2019

There’s a mental health crisis at Kaiser Permanente.

Patients can’t get the care they need. And therapists can’t keep up with growing caseloads.

Kaiser therapists have been sounding the alarm, but management won’t make real improvements.

Here’s what it’s going to take:

Kaiser needs to hire a lot more full-service therapists.

We don’t need “intake specialists” to rush people in the door without being able to care for them afterwards. This only frustrates patients and their caregivers.

There’s no solution that doesn’t start with a dramatic increase in the number of therapists.

One therapist for every 3,000 Kaiser members just isn’t enough.

Kaiser needs Crisis Teams in every Psychiatry Department.

Often patients show up with acute needs and must be cared for immediately.

We need dedicated teams to care for patients in crisis so we don’t have to cancel other appointments to address emergencies.

Kaiser therapists need more work time for patient care duties beyond seeing patients.

To provide quality care, therapists need time to complete other patient care duties.

We need to be able to coordinate with other health care providers, follow up with schools and social service agencies, and complete patients’ charts — all within scheduled working hours.

Kaiser, there’s a better way. It’s time to implement these common-sense solutions.

The lives of Kaiser patients depend on it.