Shirlee Zane’s letter of support for striking mental health clinicians

January 15th, 2015

Dear Kaiser Therapists,

This week is the 4th anniversary of my husband’s tragic death from depression…a loss to me and my family that defies words. Ironically it is also the week you chose to send a message to your employer that mental health parity is the Federal law and you care deeply about your clients….and some of them, such as my husband, will die from acute, severe depression without SUFFICIENT and TIMELY treatment.

Your message, your courage, your sacred and difficult work, your timing and your commitment to mental health parity….it is BRILLIANT.

One out of four people experience mental illness. It is a national TRAGEDY that we are not sufficiently treating people, that we have failed to INTEGRATE mental health and physical healthcare, that we continue to stigmatize people and suffer silently. Everyday people lose their lives and those of us who love them must somehow go on. I know…I lost the “love of my life” because of that failure.

You are brave, you are courageous and it is TIME to change our system….all healthcare that sacrifices the lives of people to make a PROFIT must change.

Be strong….remember the story of David and Goliath. You are not alone in your mission.

Thank you on behalf of all who have suffered.

Most Sincerely,
Supervisor Shirlee Zane