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Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services

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Patient Stories

Six weeks just to be seen

Published Sunday, December 2, 2018

Making the call to set up an initial appointment was difficult for me. I had to admit that I don’t have my life together as well as I would like due to severe anxiety and narcissistic abuse. Then I learned I would have to wait a six weeks just to be seen. If you have never suffered from any form of mental health issues, waiting a week can seem like torture when all you want is someone to talk to. Waiting six weeks feels as if there is simply no time for you and your feelings. How is one supposed to make progress in their lives when there is no room to be seen, heard, valued? I was referred to a contracted company in hopes of being seen quicker. Once again, my hopes were dashed when there were no openings due to high volume. As the tears rolled down my face, I realized that, if I wanted to make a difference in my life, I would need to do it on my own without Kaiser Permanente’s help. I have the funds to pay out-of-pocket for counselors who are able to see me once a week, but what about those who aren’t so lucky? If Kaiser were as proactive about providing mental healthcare as they are about making sure every member gets a flu shot, patients wouldn’t be waiting so long.